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A Recruiter's Guide to Remaining Positive Amidst Adversity

GettyImages-1273511060Facing adversity is a part of life. Whether adversity occurs in your personal or professional life, it’s something that you should acknowledge and know how to navigate. Recruiters are one of the professions that are met with adversity particularly often. If you are a recruiter, a key part of the role is accepting that overcoming adversity is an innate part of the job, and you should prepare to handle it when the time comes.

As someone who has been working in the recruiting field for almost 20 years, currently in a Relationship Manager role, I always tell my direct reports that the best way to overcome adversity is to have a positive mindset. Once recruiters understand that it’s normal to face adversity, they can adopt and maintain a positive mindset and thrive.


Times Recruiters Face Adversity 

In the recruiting field, many things can leave you feeling discouraged, with the following events being the most common.


Offer Rejections 

When you extend a job offer to a seemingly great candidate and they reject it, it’s natural to feel discouraged by the rejection.


Losing Candidates to ANother Company 

Sometimes, your company can’t offer a candidate everything they want, so they cut off the recruitment process with you and move forward with a different company they prefer.


Niche Job Roles 

A candidate who fits that role is nearly impossible to find, presenting a difficult challenge to overcome.


Market Trends 

Changes in the market are out of your control, but they still have a major impact on your success. If it's a candidate's market or your company implements a temporary hiring freeze, for example, there is not much you can do besides force the negativity out of your mind and face the challenging market head-on. 


So, with these common occurrences of adversity, it's vital that you keep a positive mindset, no matter how easy it is to feel negatively about your situation. A negative outlook will only adversely affect your performance and mental health.



How Recruiters Can Keep a Positive Mindset Despite Adversity 

When I’m managing my team, these are some tips I give them to remain positive amidst adversity.


1. Concentrate on the Positives 

We all have negative thoughts, but those of us who dwell on them will struggle to overcome them. The more you listen to those negative voices in your head, the more real they become. Programming your mind to think more positively takes time and perseverance, but it is possible to train yourself to change your thinking.

Instead of dwelling on the negative, celebrate your achievements. Whether it’s a big accomplishment like securing a new client or something smaller like prepping a candidate for an interview, it’s worth smiling about it instead of focusing on any negative experiences you had that day. No matter how bad a situation is, always challenge the negative thoughts and intentionally cultivate a hopeful outlook instead. Be sure to express gratitude for the job that you have and the successes you’ve had, too. Feeding your mind with positive thoughts will ultimately produce positive results at work.


2. Find the Opportunity in the Obstacle

Since obstacles will inevitably occur for recruiters, you need to realize that obstacles can create opportunities for growth. A recruiter’s job is based on sales – selling a business to a candidate and, in turn, selling a candidate to the business. Getting discouraged when you can’t sell your business to certain candidates will create a negative ripple effect and decrease your chances of success.

However, if you perceive these failed sales as opportunities to learn from what you may have done wrong, you will be able to correct it and have a more positive experience. Lean into adverse times and learn from them rather than complaining and viewing them in a negative light.


3. Focus on What's in Your Control 

Although you will face adversity in recruiting, there are certain things that you will always have control of. It’s important to remain focused and determined on your end goals when something doesn’t go your way. For example, if a candidate rejects your offer, remain professional and actively continue your relationship with them. Ask for feedback on the process and keep a connection with them in case future opportunities with the candidate present themselves.

Lean on others for support when you need it. Connect with your peers – they might be feeling the same way and facing the same challenges as you, so talk to them and remind each other that neither of you is alone. You should also prioritize self-care. Treating your mind and body right will help you remain positive in the face of adversity. Leaning on others and letting yourself unwind occasionally are two things you can easily control that will help you maintain a positive mindset at work.


Final Thoughts

Being a positive recruiter will benefit you, the candidates you work with, and your company. As a people manager, one of the challenges for me is how to approach different personalities to help them keep a positive mindset. What motivates one recruiter may not motivate the next, so figuring out how to get through to each person can take time and effort. If you are a team leader reading this, I encourage you to actively listen to each one of your recruiters and put yourself in their shoes so you can try to help them in a way that’s best for each individual. Embracing a positive mindset will improve not only your health but also your career and personal life!


Authentic DEI

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