Talent Acquisition

Making Calm Out of Chaos: Recruiting Yogini Jodie Garrison Tells All

This post is sponsored by MightyRecruiter. Be sure to join their webinar with Jodie Garrison, Zen Recruiting: A Recruiting Yogini Shares Secrets to Staying in Flow, on August 9th.

Let’s face it: recruiting is a high-stress profession. To do the job right, recruiters must possess a trifecta of traits: a high-level of organization, a penchant for engaging with a variety of different people, and the ability to hold the needs of their clients and the needs of their candidates in equal balance. It’s a tall order, especially with the number of open jobs at a near-record high.

In an industry where the expectation of high performance can create a very high-stress environment, it’s easy for even the most successful recruiters to just burn out. That’s why today’s hiring market demands that recruiters pay more attention than ever to finding balance.

Enter Jodie Garrison, a recruiter with nearly a decade of experience. Touted as the Recruiting Yogini, Garrison is the senior tech recruiter for ARM with expertise in recruiting sales, IoT, CPU, wireless, and more. After years of studying yoga to manage stress, Jodie has used her experience to develop tips and tricks to help other recruiters and hiring managers stay sane in the face of insane stress and pressure.

Mighty Recruiter spoke to Garrison about her August 9th webinar, Zen Recruiting: A Recruiting Yogini Shares Secrets to Staying in Flow, the parallels she’s found between yoga and recruiting, and the concept of ‘recruiting from the heart.’

How did recruiting and yoga become entwined in your professional life?

I started doing yoga at the same time that I started my staffing company because I probably would have lost my mind otherwise. My mom had turned to yoga [to manage stress], and she was so enthusiastic that it was contagious, so I got into it. I did the Kundalini yoga teacher training. That’s the yoga of awareness, the yoga of chakras. It’s mostly sitting on your butt chanting, but there are also a lot of physical aspects to it.

Yoga is something that I’ve come to not just for the physical practice, but also as a mindset and as an approach to daily living. With each breath, you’re connecting your heart and your mind. With Kundalini yoga, you focus on breathing and thinking, ‘How can I be of service?’ With every breath, you’re getting a new chance to get back to your purpose.

How did you come up with the moniker the ‘Recruiting Yogini’?

The title Recruiting Yogini actually says more about my sense of humor than it does about my passion for yoga or recruiting. One parallel between yoga and recruiting seems to be about balance. Obviously, balance is critical in yoga. I’ve heard from recruiters and hiring managers time and again that it can be difficult for them to maintain a balance between the busy work required to do the job—writing job ads, scheduling with candidates, responding to emails—and the human elements that are needed to do the job well.

Do you have any advice on how recruiters can achieve better balance in their professions?

With yoga and how yoga informs the work life, it comes back to focus. When you can train your mind first through concentration, then into the silence of meditation, you are creating space. It is similar to focusing on what matters most at work. On a very high level, whether you’re a recruiter or not, you need to focus on your purpose and the key relationships in your life. When we concentrate on the professional relationships where we share a purpose, that’s our happy place. If you are feeling scattered, or pulled in lots of different directions, focusing back on those key relationships can turn it back around. It all comes back to what is our purpose. And the practice of yoga brings us back to our purpose, who are we, how we can help, how we can serve.

What are your top tips for keeping your Zen as a recruiter?

Focus on offers, interviews, and covering reqs (requisitions/vacancies). I mean that’s so basic, but those three things are all that recruiting is, really. The ability to focus is really key, and the ability to switch off and to give yourself time to refresh and recuperate is also critical. There are a lot of recruiters who burn out; they could be phenomenal but they get sick of the grind. Sometimes, we all need to shut it completely down and get fulfilled. I recommend a daily time, weekly time, monthly, even quarterly time to do something for yourself, for your family, or for your tribe. Schedule those days. You’ve got to create that space for renewal so that you can bring your heart into recruiting.

In both yoga and recruiting, flexibility is an important attribute. Can you talk about how the ability to be physical and mentally flexible are related?

In some ways, it’s a mindset. With physical flexibility, it’s a sensitivity to feeling the stretch in the belly of the muscle, and not pushing to the extent where you’re going to get an injury in a tendon or ligament. It is having that sensitivity to understand that balance of, “I want to push myself” and do it safely so that you are finding the tension and the discomfort, but not pain. In recruiting, the flexibility is very relationship-driven; we’re constantly ringing people up who don’t expect our call or talking to employed candidates who may not be looking for a new job. Either way, we are inviting people into what can be a pretty stressful experience. A job change can be almost as stressful as a death or a divorce, so we have to have a sensitivity to that discomfort. We have to see where that person is and help them push through the discomfort, and drive the conversation forward, hopefully without causing pain.

In your webinar, you talk about “recruiting from the heart.” Can you say more about that concept?

The benefits of recruiting from the heart [is] about my passion for working with hiring managers. Again, I think that we talk a lot about horrible or positive candidate experiences, but we don’t provide enough information or support to hiring managers. As a result, sometimes hiring managers are left in the dark.

I think a lot about bringing lightness to the process, about not holding our processes like dogma, about using new tools and experimenting with shortcuts. It’s also about leaving behind tools and processes that aren’t working anymore. I think a lot about how to keep things simple. When you are recruiting from the heart, you’re giving yourself space to fall back in love your purpose as a recruiter.

One last question about yoga: What’s your favorite yoga pose and why?

That’s easy; it’s Savasana or Corpse pose. I like it because anyone can do it; it’s very simple, it’s easy to teach, and it’s not a pose we hold enough. Letting the ground support us, connecting with the earth, breathing deeply, trusting the universe, trusting Mother Earth—whatever you want to call it—it’s about giving yourself time to breathe and giving the parasympathetic nervous system time to balance. We just don’t do it enough.

Want to learn more about how to keep your cool despite the chaos? Register today for MightyRecruiter’s webinar with Jodie Garrison, Zen Recruiting: A Recruiting Yogini Shares Secrets to Staying in Flow, on August 9th.

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