The Stress of Job Hunting

With three in five workers apparently planning to change jobs currently, together with the big impact the pandemic has had on youth employment, it seems that this is the year that the 'war for talent' and job-hunting returns with a vengeance. 

Candidate Market
In the current candidate driven marketplace, where there seems to be more positions available than candidates to fill them, you would think that finding a new role would be easy. We were surprised therefore to read a recent survey that claims that job hunting is stressful and that we recruiters could do more to help smooth the process. Having advised many candidates recently on their job hunting I can see that yes, it can be stressful, particularly if they feel that nothing is happening.

Job Hunting Stress
The survey suggests that most people find looking for a new role stressful, with the most challenging aspect actually finding a role that matches what they are looking for. Other aspects of the job search that are stressful include being rejected, having to re-write their CV and covering letter specific to the role and having to get time off work to go for an interview. All understandable.

Surely though, if you start to look for a new role, you must accept that it requires some work on your part and at some point you will need to go see your prospective employer, probably during working hours. Since your CV and covering letter is electronically stored it should not take more than a few minutes to check that it is aligned to the role you are applying for.

A further stress, it seems, was dealing with recruiters, which probably puts us on a par with estate agents, with apologies to that honourable profession! It is not clear whether this includes Hiring Managers or just relates to agents/consultants; either way it needs addressing. It seems that the biggest bugbear is not hearing anything from the recruiter, whether or not they were successful, and not receiving any feedback. Which is a complaint many candidates tell us about other recruiting firms.

From our side we always try to advise any candidate that applies for a role that they have not been successful and if they meet the client then feedback is always offered. However, in defence of recruiters, it is very often the candidate that is the party ‘disappearing’ during the process. In our ‘want it now’ and ‘me’ culture, it seems that courtesy has taken a back seat or been removed altogether: on many projects that we work on when we have spoken to a candidate, sent them a job description, or they have applied for the role and we wish to speak with them, all we get is a wall of silence and further contact proves very difficult.

The large number of ways we can contact a candidate today means that we don’t always stumble on their preferred method of communication – be that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, phone, text or whatever…