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Why Recruiters Leave Recruiting


I fell into recruiting. I didn’t know what a recruiter was when I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree. Then during my first professional job after college working in a credit union, I quickly realized that I didn’t like the work. Thankfully, a coworker’s spouse worked for a temporary staffing agency and referred me for a recruiter opening. I applied, got the job, and my career as a recruiter began. 

It was a natural fit from the beginning. I loved interacting with a diverse group of people looking for work and finding them jobs. It was rewarding and energizing work. Since then, I’ve had the good fortune of being a recruiter for more than 20 years now. 

As an observer of people and careers, one thing I’ve noticed is how many recruiters don’t stay in recruiting. Why is that? What causes my fellow colleagues to leave this challenging and interesting career field? 

Tired, Devalued, and Hated

As I was considering possible reasons, I received some great insights when I spoke to Keirsten Greggs and communicated with Amy Miller through LinkedIn. Powerhouse TA professionals themselves with a wealth of knowledge and experience, they both mentioned burnout as the top reason that people leave recruiting. 

We’re Tired.The work can be extremely taxing. You’re told “no” routinely. You tell people “no” repeatedly. Your results depend on candidates, and candidates are unpredictable — such as the one who accepts an offer then rescinds it a week later. Our field is not for the faint of heart. It’s tough work, and thick skin is a prerequisite to be a successful recruiter. 

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