Recruitment can be an overwhelming and chaotic process and can make mental illness the stickiest of workplace issues.
The work environment in the recruitment industry involves a very stressful routine causing issues like anxiety, stress disorders, depression, and other crippling mental illnesses.
It’s a good thing that mental health is finally becoming more frequently addressed at work; however, discussing mental health in the recruitment industry is still a big grey area that neither the candidates, employers, nor recruiters seek to explore.
You need to facilitate mental well-being both at the workplace and during the hiring process.
This Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re bringing you a few ways by which you can manage and support mental health.
6 Ways How Recruiters Can Manage Mental Health
1. Educate Yourself First
Most of the stigma attached to mental health is because of a lack of knowledge. You must educate yourself about mental health, its importance, and how to manage and improve it.
Gather information on different mental health issues employers, candidates, or clients face.
Employees’ mental health issues in the workforce can range from panic attacks, mood disorders, stress, anxiety, or even depression. Learn introductory psychology and educate yourself on mental illnesses to get a better understanding of mental health and how to maintain positive health.
Once you educate yourself about mental health, you will be able to identify symptoms and illnesses.
You will become more aware of yourself and the people that surround you. You will also be prepared with ways to help out people in coping with their issues.
Knowledge and understanding about mental well-being will enable you to behave appropriately with people struggling with mental health issues.
2. Be Considerate
A quality recruiter always cares for employees by being considerate and showing empathy.
It would be best if you didn’t make people struggling with such issues feel responsible for being obligated towards the job when they are facing problems coping with problems affecting mental health.
If you come across a candidate or employee dealing with mental health issues, consider the roles you are assigning them.
You cannot send that person into stressful environments as that would add more to their problems. Instead, assign them roles and responsibilities that they will be able to do efficiently without feeling pressurized.
Take time to understand the candidates and employees and what they might be going through in their personal lives.
Their circumstances may be weighing heavily on their mental health.
You cannot assume someone’s life story, and you can’t expect them to spill it out. If they wish to share their problems with you, they will when they feel safe.
So, you need to be considerate and allow personal space to the candidates.
3. Don’t Be Judgemental
How would you react to finding out if a candidate is feeling mentally unwell?
Will you consider dropping them?
If you found out about an employee suffering from mental health problems, would you question why they are a part of the company?
Such thoughts and impulses result from our judgments based on biases and stereotypes. Never judge someone on their abilities to perform tasks simply because they might be dealing with mental health issues.
Each individual is an asset to your organization, and because of their personal problems, they do not deserve to be considered liabilities and underachievers.
They were hired or are being considered for further rounds in the hiring process because they might have what it takes to take up that role or responsibility. Do not judge and undermine the value of the talent.
4. Encourage Candidates & Employees to Speak up
If you come across a candidate who may not be mentally well, encourage them to have a conversation to discuss their problems.
Open communication can help solve many issues and establish a meaningful relationship between managers and workers.
When a person has bottled up their thoughts and feelings, they may feel mentally uneasy and become victims of mental illnesses, depression, stress, and anxiety disorders.
Keep in mind that the candidates will not speak up about their problems until they feel safe. So, create a comfortable space for people to speak up about their problems to feel secure.
Not that it’s your job to counsel them about their issues, but simply listening to their problems can help the candidates feel better. Never provide any unsolicited advice when someone opens up.
Be patient with your employees and candidates as such issues are difficult to overcome. By offering encouragement when needed, you don’t make candidates feel worse. Instead, they open up to you. This will also enable you to know them better.
5. Learn About Preventive Methods
Once you educate yourself about mental health issues, learn how such issues can be eliminated.
You can start by offering the flexibility of timings and location. Ensure a work-life balance for the employees and candidates to feel relieved and stress-free.
You can emphasize how an enhanced performance can be assured with mental fitness.
Establish a connection between performance and resting. Discuss the importance of following healthy habits like sleeping well, eating healthy, and exercising with the candidates to have a positive outcome for their work.
Encouraging potential employees to talk about their problems also works as a great preventive measure. You can get mental health professionals to hold webinars/seminars for employees to guide people about ensuring mental wellbeing.
Try to educate professionals on the best practices to keep themselves mentally healthy to get the job of their dreams.
6. Extend Help When Needed
Communication is the best form of help you can offer to individuals. You can also refer mental health professionals to candidates if they wish to see one.
Other desired factors in a workplace include diversity, inclusion, accepting culture, communication, support, and training.
These help candidates and employees get more comfortable.
Have mental health resources within your organization and be fully equipped to help a person in need. Listening without making judgments is an effective way to help people with issues.
Don’t forget that you are just a recruiter and not a mental health professional, so don’t become their therapist. However, it is always appropriate to advise professionals to seek therapy to help resolve their problems.
You can also use helpful resources provided by various non-governmental organizations.
In Final Words
As the stigma around ment
al health keeps getting lifted, a recruiter too should become proactive in facilitating a positive atmosphere at the workplace and during the recruitment process.
Never hesitate to seek professional help or talk about these issues.