Working in recruitment while dealing with stress, anxiety or depression can be incredibly difficult. Recruiters are expected to be target-smashing go-getters, who can more than manage increasingly heavy workloads.  

But no one is superhuman, and we all struggle under the weight of mental health issues from time to time.  

Improving mental health across the recruitment sector is an urgent issue. Research has found that recruitment is one of the most stressful jobs in the UK, where one in four people will experience mental health issues in any given year.  

Poor mental health is also bad for businesses, costing between £33 billion and £42 billion a year.  

What can we do about it?  

We’ve put together some tips for both employers and employees which can kickstart the journey to better mental health right now.  

And make sure to check out our recent podcast with mental health public speaker Daniel Wilsher 

For employers 

  • Create a Wellness Action Plan for everyone. Check out Mind – they have a number of free resources for companies to use.  
  • Start the conversation. Let your team know that they’re more than welcome to talk to you about mental health issues they’re facing. Take a look at Sanctus, who’ve made it their mission to break down the stigma around discussing mental health at work.  
  • Invest in training. Find out what training programmes for line managers and HR personnel are available – HSE and ACAS are good places to start.   
  • Take action on staff satisfaction. Conduct some surveys and forums to find out how happy your people are at work. What’s causing them stress? Would solutions such as flexible working help them to maintain a healthy work/life balance? You never know until you ask.  

For employees 

  • Talk to someone. This first step is the most important, but it can also be the most difficult. Speak to a colleague, line manager, friend, or anyone else you feel comfortable talking to.  
  • Ask for help. If you feel your workload is spiralling out of control, tell your line manager. Discuss the problem and how it’s affecting your mental health, and see if you can work together to find a solution.   
  • Take a break. Self-care is all about being kinder to yourself, listening to those internal signs that you need to pause, regroup and recover.  
  • Get active. Research has found that regular physical activity helps to promote well-being and lower the risk of depression. There are lots of ways to get active, without needing to hit the gym. Go for a walk in your local park at lunchtime, hit the stairs rather than taking the life, or organise a sporting activity with your colleagues after work.   
  • Complete a Wellness Action Plan. Mind also has guides for employees, including a downloadable Wellness Action Plan to help you make long term improvements to your wellbeing at work.  
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