11 Ways To Prevent Burnout And Find Success As An Introvert In Recruiting

Clint Buelter
4 min readSep 25, 2019



The other day on Reddit a new recruiter asked: “How to prevent burnout/find success as an introvert in this industry?”

I thought for a few minutes and started writing down the things that have helped me. I hope this helps you too.

Doing things (following habits) that don’t work will drain you. Like taking advice from old school staffing agency owners who burn through a new group of college kids (raw energy and enthusiasm) hired every six to twelve months.

It is a numbers game to them, most new recruiters will burn out or fail to “make the numbers” and then have to find a new job.

1 Learn to love adversity instead of fearing it

Recruiting isn’t always easy. It’s hard and demanding both physically and emotionally. But it’s all about how you see it, you can see it as a drain or as one of the greatest challenges you will face.

A challenge so great you will have to grow into a bigger person to handle each new challenge presented for you to overcome.

You must learn to learn and constantly develop new skills. Reading a new book, challenging an old belief or way of thinking to grow into someone who can handle setbacks and disappointments along the way.

Those who stay the course get to celebrate the wins and meet the people you can help.

2 Play the long game

You have been doing your job (learning recruiting) for twelve months. That’s not long enough to be good at it. Wait until you have been doing it for 5 years. By then you will either be good at it and earning six figures or you’ll be mediocre and employable. Like the other commenters in this thread, you’ll gravitate to impactful less “hunter” focused roles. Figure out if you are a hunter or a gatherer early on. Find roles that play to your strengths.

3 Test and refine

If there are in fact “twits” telling you what to do. Track everything you do. Then share the data back with your bosses. Ask to run a test with another recruiter. You do only the high impact tasks while they follow the company norms.

4 Play to your strengths

Most recruiters are not great at writing. Use your communication strength to your benefit. If you hate getting on the phones. Get good at writing cold emails. I bet you could learn to write 50 cold emails that outperform 50 cold calls.

5 “The leads are weak”

Don’t contact weak leads. Most staffing agencies build a large database of low-quality resumes and then put recruiters in “smile and dial mode”. This makes no sense. Don’t do it. If the leads are bad go find your own. Fill the jobs and move on to the next set of roles that need to be filled.

This is how to prevent burnout.

6 Understand the “who”

Who are you trying to hire? If you can’t answer that question in detail (that matches your client or internal customers’ expectation) you will fail and move forward toward “burnout”. Also, you need to be able to set expectations. Most hiring managers have a vague idea of who they’d like to hire based off of the person who did the role previously.

Why is that skillset or profile relevant?

Most times it is not. It’s your job to find this out and reset expectations.

7 Prepare

People who are overwhelmed and stressed don’t have habits that allow them to perform. They are not prepared.

Plan out what you will cover in an interview or intro call (at minimum bullet points).

Plan what you want to get done the night before. You will need to create a system that allows you to build a set of habits that give you consistent results.

Plan and prepare. Or prepare to lose.

8 Find what works for you

Schedule time for calls. Schedule time to find leads. Do your most draining tasks later in the day (whatever that means for you). Do the tasks that require your creative energy early.

Find out what works for you and only do that.

9 Tell your customer what they want

Sometimes your boss is wrong. Or your customer is wrong and doesn’t realize it. You need to stop being a recruiter and start being a hiring manager, “based on everything I know about your role, team, etc this is the person you should hire.”

This is adding value. You will not add value by mindlessly following orders.

You will also have to be able to support your case with data and information that will win over the most skeptical customer. The same is true for your boss.

10 Go in the opposite direction

Look at all the recruiters who are failing or falling into the same traps you are. Stop doing what they do. Find the quieter path no one is on. 20% of the recruiters in an office make 80% of the placements.

Study what they do. Only do that.

- — -

“nowadays I’d rather just scroll through my phone on the couch after work”

11 Delete every social app on your phone

Keep them off your phone for a month or two. This gives you time to develop a new set of habits and rewire how you think. How you think impacts how you feel.

When you get home from work plug your phone into a charger in your bathroom (most people don’t spend a lot of their time in the bathroom so that is a good place for it). Change shoes and clothes and go for a walk. Walk for twenty to thirty minutes and take a book with you. By the time you finish your walk, you are somewhere else. Thinking about something else.

Give yourself time to process things and think about what you want to do next.