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Mental Health in the recruitment industry

Whilst looking through my events calendar I noticed that Mental Health Awareness Week was around the corner. My first thought as a marketeer was, ‘great opportunity to link into mental health in the recruitment industry’! So after doing a bit of research I started to reflect on my own state of mind and also to question what processes we have in place as a business to help our employees and partners. I’ll caveat this by adding that I am in no way qualified to talk about Mental Health. Hopefully by writing this article, there’ll be something in here that resonates with you, helps raise awareness or helps you to enact some change.

Mental Health has certainly become a hot topic, especially during the covid and post covid years. All the indicators and reports seem to suggest that this issue is still growing. We’re all different and deal with things in different ways so there’s not always a right or wrong way to deal with our own mental health or of those around us.

Recruitment industry

The industry has long had a reputation of ‘churn and burn’. Workplace culture demanded long working hours and unachievable targets leading to burnout. Thankfully, this attitude is no longer the norm. Recruitment, (like a lot of industries) can be very stressful and yes, you do need a bit of resilience about you to succeed. We do need to find a happy balance though between work, family and having time to ourselves. Taking a step back and exploring what really matters to us is I think a good starting place in finding that balance and ultimately, hopefully a better state of mind.

A recent study suggest 9 out of 10 recruitment industry workers have suffered from work-related stress at some point. Probably not a surprise to any readers who have spent significant time in or around the sector. What interventions do we have in place as businesses to check in with our employees? Surely there is a link between a business that has good processes and is empathetic, and productivity and churn rates?

Recruitment partners

We partner with over 150 recruitment businesses, mostly start up entrepreneurs working solo. What do they do to ensure they are looking after themselves? It can be a lonely existence especially for start ups, or those that are used to being in a busy, social office to suddenly being out on their own. Having chat groups helps our partners to network with each other. This is mainly on a business level but having other businesses to call on and talk to may be a help to some people.

What can we do to help ourselves?

We can help ourselves by being active. It’s a well known fact that exercise boosts chemicals in the brain that helps our state of mind. Exercise doesn’t come naturally to everyone so find something you like doing, no point training for a marathon if you hate running!

Our diet is also an important factor to bear in mind. We all have a good idea of what we should be eating and when we should eat.

Refresh your mind and your surroundings by getting away from your desk and going outside. Breaking up your day with some fresh air is a good way of resetting. Getting enough sleep may also help you to feel fresher and ready to face the day ahead.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to talk. It’s ok to not be ok. Talking to the people around us helps us to unleash bottled up emotions and feelings.

What can we do as businesses?

As businesses we need to look after our employees. There is a difference however, between looking after people and being seen as a soft touch. We have KPI’s, targets, and business standards to adhere to for sure.

Take time to check in with your team. Something we do well at SSG is to start our weekly meetings with round table check ins. Talking about positive things we have achieved either in our personal lives or professionally helps to build team unity and find out more about the people we work with.

Setting the boundaries, supportive culture and environment will help employees to open up about any struggles they may be having. Do you have procedures in place to ensure that you are consistently checking in? Don’t treat mental health as an occasional tick box exercise that shows you’ve ‘done your job’!

Want to find out more?

Check out the useful links to websites below:

Mental Health in Recruitment


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