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Well that was fun.  Jumping back into my old agency rec-to-rec desk for the past 10 days, while its current babysitter Sean is having his own baby sat for him on an overseas trip with the in laws (that he’s secretly thrilled about), and already it’s my last day.  After almost a decade in rec-to-rec, it was a relief to hand over the reins back in 2016, but it’s been a real buzz to be back.

Guiding a placement over the line (even if it was a tap-in following a Messi-like assist from Sean in the build up), registering new candidates, taking in new jobs, buzzing from meeting to meeting on an e-bike, I’d kind of forgotten what makes recruitment such a thrill sometimes.  Plus I think the sun actually shone the whole time too.

I am acutely aware that there is a probable time limit to this second-honeymoon period though.  It’s like heading back to the UK, where I’m originally from, and spending the first week marveling at the culture, the buzz of so many people, the snug pubs and noisy sporting events, before the creeping crush of all the reasons you left in the first place start start stirring inside you again.

Something similar is apparently happening in the world of work now too.  We all have ridiculously short term memories these days, but surely you remember The Great Resignation of 2021-22?  A construct of management consultants, HR professionals and recruiters, it was in fact borne out in reality, which generated lots of business for management consultants, HR professionals and *ahem*…recruiters.

Well now this has apparently been swiftly followed by The Great Regret of 2023.  The grass, as it sadly transpires for many, was not always greener.  Good news then, for management consultants, HR professionals and…yep, ok…recruiters.

It’s hardly a great surprise though is it?  We’re all in some kind of funk nowadays and it’s bound to flow into our happiness at work.  I wonder how much of this new “phenomenon” being peddled by management consultants etc is really regret at a choice of employer, or rather it’s a side effect of the relentless pressure of modern living.

2023 has only just begun but already we’ve had to deal with natural disasters, political upheaval, transport woes and kids having EVEN MORE DAYS OFF SCHOOL.  Not to mention the global issues of war, cost of living crises and a depressing litany of social and environmental woes being fed into our brains by a digital fire hose.

But hey, 10 days back in the rec-to-rec hot seat, and I’m feeling fine, and positive energy really does go a long, long way in recruitment.  The job of a recruiter can be tough, you need to be resilient, and it can feel harder and harder if you feel yourself getting pulled into the general funk of everyone around you.

What’s worked for me is pretty simple, I think.  Keeping up good levels of activity, making calls instead of emails, making the effort to engage with people face to face whenever possible, and getting in some decent exercise too.  Simple activity metrics, that can easily be forgotten about, but that will be valuable tools for recruiters to get through the next few months ahead.

It also helps coming home each day to a 12-week old puppy, which we were told is a pure-bred Labrador, but by all accounts seems to be crossed with a honey badger given the tornado of terror she has become in our household.  Great fun though and, if you need something to cheer you up this Friday, and haven’t heard of the honey badger before, enjoy this video and let all your troubles melt away….

Happy Friday!

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.