The reality of work-life balance and how to better cultivate it
Work-life balance is such a wonderful concept but seems unattainable for most Americans. The idea of being successful in your career, the best in your interpersonal relationships with time and money left to relax, have a spa day, or take a bomb vacation in the tropics is a dream.
Unfortunately, most have not been able to successfully live this out. So, what’s the problem? What hinders us from being able to balance work and life? How can you foster more balance not just for employees, but for yourself as a recruiter? There may not be a one-size-fits-all, but we have a few suggestions to help you better balance life and work.
Is Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’s view that work-life balance is a “debilitating” idea realistic for most Americans, who must care for families, enjoy the company of friends, and have interests other than work? When resources and time are limited, most people who can’t afford nannies, assistants, and maids do need to strike a balance for practical and wellness reasons.
Attainable ways to cultivate better work-life balance as a recruiter
Getting organized in your workflow seems like a basic first step, right? Just get a planner, set more reminders on your calendar, buy a few sticky notes, and you should be good to go right? The problem is, it’s not as simple as it sounds and it’s a skill to organize.
While all those things are helpful, it’s easy to fall off and slump back into old recruiting habits, especially when unpredictable things happen. The method you’re using, or lack thereof, in organizing your workflow may be hindering you more than helping you. That roadblock can be eliminated with better project management and digital recruiting tools.
Instead of frantically trying to complete everything in a day due to mishaps, late calendar reminders, and misplaced notes to yourself, dedicate a few free hours out of your week to get it together by finding better tools and really getting organized. This will reduce the amount of self-induced stress you may be dealing with and make your workflow feel easy-peasy, lemon squeezy. By the time you get home, you’ll feel like you’ve conquered the workday, as opposed to feeling beat up by it.
Learn how to delegate
“Don’t worry, I’ll handle it for you!” Doesn’t it feel good to see those words? Maybe even hear them? Being able to delegate recruiting tasks is your best bet for improving your workflow and even work-life balance. However, many people struggle in this area. In American culture, the saying is, “if you want something done, do it yourself.”
The problem is, you can’t always do it all without dropping the ball. The good news is, we live in a technologically advanced culture that allows us the opportunity to delegate certain tedious tasks, making our life easier, and more convenient. Take advantage of this! As a recruiter, technology is your friend, not your enemy. Trying to find diverse candidates, virtually chase them down via email, and schedule interviews for multiple people at once can be daunting. Just reading this makes you tired.
Let technology help you. The more you continue to take on, the more burned out you will be, and that’s a fact, Jack. Or Jane. Or whoever you are reading this.
If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. Set boundaries for yourself on what you intend to do for the day and stick to it. You will notice your mood lifting as you check those items from your to-do list. The sweet visual of a checkmark can do wonders for you by setting boundaries and completing high-priority items on your list.
Realistic ways to foster work-life balance for candidates and employees
In your own role as a talent acquisition professional, take a hard look at the KPIs you’re expected to meet, and the long-term success of new hires. The language isn’t exactly right here, but if recruiters are driven to work too fast, they may not have time to build relationships with candidates and hiring managers that, overall, add more value to the company.
Perhaps the culture in your talent acquisition team could shift away from a race to make the numbers to a more people-centered approach to recruiting, one that delivers new hires that contribute faster and stay around longer.
Communicate employee expectations to hiring managers early
Asking new hires questions like, “what does your ideal work environment look like” is a great start. However, the answers aren’t always communicated to hiring managers and taken into consideration after the onboarding is done. Communicating those expectations to hiring managers early is key in fostering work-life balance for employees.
If the new hire and manager aren’t in sync, this can lead to employee burnout, disappointed managers, and higher turnover. If an employee expects a certain amount of PTO or a certain work schedule, let the hiring managers know early on to prevent a conflict from arising later.
Review your job ad language
Sometimes your job description language is a turn-off for potential candidates. Candidates know that if they want to get paid, they must work and meet base requirements. Adding words to your description like, “must be hard-working” and “must be flexible with work-hours,” sounds like you’re looking for a workhorse. Not only does this detract people from wanting to work with the company, but it scares them into believing there’s no hope for balance either.
Review what you write in your job ads and ask yourself, “would I want to work there?” If not, it’s because you may have been a little spicy in your approach.
Use your influence on improving company culture
Poor company culture can be detrimental to the company’s efficiency and growth. If the employees aren’t happy – if recruiters aren’t happy – the company isn’t likely to thrive. As a recruiter, there’s only so much you can do. But what can you do?
If you find company culture – whether real or perceived – is hurting recruiting efforts, that needs to be flagged to management. Be specific about what you’re hearing from candidates. Do they balk when the PTO policy is shared? Do you get lots of requests for remote work? Are they telling you the on-call hours are burdensome? What might they have heard about your culture from others?
Some things can’t be changed, but management needs to clearly understand why great candidates aren’t taking jobs with you.
Whether you’re trying to strike a balance between work and your personal life or trying to influence balance for candidates and employees, it’s always good to start small and be realistic. Making small changes by setting boundaries or communicating your candidates’ needs with hiring managers are effective ways in doing this. In addition, implementing effective digital tools in your workday can streamline your recruiting process with ease.
If you’re ready to cultivate a better work-life balance, get started with Arya today.
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