June 25, 2018

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How to Avoid Burnout

Like most recruiters, you're probably spending lots of time trying to fill the same job over and over again, talking to similar types of candidates. And that's precisely the type of monotony that can drive even the most resilient recruiter over the edge.

To make matters worse, monotony is infectious. So, if your candidates don’t seem excited about your job opportunities or thrilled by the sound of your voice, take a look in the mirror. Bored silly? They probably are, too.

Fortunately, burnout from monotony can be prevented. If you’ve ever wondered how a recruiter can survive—and thrive—for 30 years in a high-stress, high-turnover environment, listen up. The secret may surprise you.

Accounts, Pictures and Stories

Over time, most recruiters fall into a pattern of “recruiter-speak,” in which the color and impact of your dialogue gets hijacked by verbal shortcuts, clichés and technical jargon. To fight the monotony of recruiter-speak, try to incorporate these simple strategies:

  1. Educate and inform. When you describe a job, try to find some aspect of the work, the company, the manager, the industry or the culture that can’t be found on a job posting. Your goal is to have the candidate say, “Gee, I didn’t know that.” For example:

    Old: My company is a highly specialized aircraft and aerospace manufacturer.

    New: Did you know that over half the aircraft in service are actually modified from their original design? Well, that’s exactly what my company does: they retrofit “stock” airplanes for special purposes.

  2. Paint word pictures. To do so, you’ll need to replace abstract or superficial descriptions with visual imagery.

    Old: My company needs an engineer to convert conventional, fixed-wing aircraft into seaplanes.

    New: My company needs an engineer to design and install retractable, lightweight pontoons to enable search and rescue planes to take off from a runway and land on the water, or vice versa.

  3. Tell stories. I’ve found that examples, illustrations or anecdotes will spice up your presentation and provide context. So, every time you tell a story, you’re more likely to “connect” with your candidates and employers.

    Old: My company’s customers include the U.S. military, foreign countries and non-governmental organizations.

    New: Remember the ferry that recently capsized off the coast of South Korea? Well, one of my company’s seaplanes helped pull 31 people out of the South China Sea and bring them to safety. Had the plane not been retrofitted for water landings, all those people would have drowned.

It’s easy to colorize your ideas; it just takes a little imagination and a bit of practice. Here are a few more examples:

Old: My company is in the high-tech medical equipment business.

New: My company designs a complete line of fully-integrated, “smart” respirators. So, if a patient’s oxygen level gets too high or too low, all medications and machines are automatically adjusted. Patients get better care, and costs go down.

Old: The job is with an international Fortune-100 company.

New: My company has offices in over 38 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. In fact, they just opened a brand new flagship office in London.

Old: The hiring manager is an expert in his field.

New: The hiring manager is so highly regarded by his peers, he was given a lifetime achievement award at the age of 42 and was appointed to a select Congressional committee on data mining.

See the difference? By converting your words from black-and-white to color, you’ll reduce monotony—and hopefully, extend your career.

- Bill Radin

Bill Radin is one of the most popular and highly regarded trainers in the recruiting industry, and has trained many of the largest independent and franchised recruiting organizations, including Management Recruiters, Dunhill, Sanford Rose, Snelling and Fortune Personnel. His speaking engagements include the NAPS national conference, the annual Kennedy Conference, and dozens of state association meetings and network conventions, including Top Echelon and