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A recruiters’ guide to combatting work-place stress
A recruiters’ guide to combatting work-place stress
Employers 25th Apr 2019

Work is the most common cause of stress for adults in the UK, with 59% experiencing some form of work-related stress. [1] Of course, some industries and job roles have a higher risk of causing stress than others.

Recruitment has been found to be one of the most stressful jobs in the UK, with 81.8% likely to suffer from workplace stress. [2]

Causes of work-place stress

Recruitment can be a rewarding and lucrative career. However, in the face of impending deadlines, constant pressures and challenging clients, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.

In the role of a recruitment consultant, there are a number of factors which could lead to increased anxiety. These include:

  • Long days.
  • Unsociable hours.
  • Pressure to meet daily targets and KPI’s.
  • The competitive nature of the role.
  • Being responsible for issues outside of your control, such as a placement failing to turn up for their first day at work.  

Recognising the symptoms

Ongoing stress can be related to a variety of mental and physical health problems, including depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and strokes.

More than 1 in 10 admit to taking sick days as a result of work-related stress.[3]

These are just a few symptoms to be wary of when identifying stress in the workplace:

  • Insomnia
  • Short temper
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Sore back
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased errors

Losing sleep is the biggest effect stress has on British workers, affecting 65%, while 1 in 4 admit they struggle to be productive at work when under stress.[4]

Combatting work-place stress

Almost half of UK workers say their place of work does not have anything in place to support employees’ mental wellbeing.[5] However, combatting workplace stress also has benefits for employers – reducing the costs of sickness absence and helping create a more productive workforce.

Use these stress management tips to help your employees manage stress in the workplace:

  1. Plan and prioritise: Set and agree goals which are realistic and achievable. Encourage your employees to create a to-do list at the start of each day to help manage their time, breaking larger tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
  2. Self-care: Regular breaks are crucial in creating a more productive workforce. Take measures to ensure your employees don’t work through lunch and coffee breaks. Encourage them to recognise when they need to take five minutes away from stressful situations.
  3. Communication: Maintaining consistent and effective lines of communication between management and employees will help them feel supported in their work and open to approaching you when they are struggling with their workload.
  4. Teambuilding: Investing in teambuilding events and exercises is a great way to open up communication and build constructive bonds within your workforce. Being happy in the workplace can make a huge difference in reducing workplace stress.  
  5. Employee Benefits:Help your employees maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle by investing in employee benefit packages. These can include gym memberships, walk-to-work schemes, additional holiday allowances or even access to counselling services.
  6. Workplace Recognition: It’s important that your employees feel they are appreciated and that their work is recognised when they do a good job. Giving your team regular positive feedback is a great morale boost and helps to build positive working relationships between you and your workforce.

Most doctors agree that finding ways to relax and reduce overall stress levels will improve health and wellbeing for the long-term. 

Encourage your employees to take an active role in their own wellbeing. It will help to minimise the impact of stress on your workforce as a whole, reducing absence through sickness and improving employee retention now and for the future. 


Jelf, an award winning and UK leading insurance broker, is the preferred insurance partner of the REC, providing members with an enhanced insurance offering. 

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