Do candidates find jobseeking more stressful than a root canal?

Most people don’t like going to the dentist but it’s a fact of life: you must go if you want to maintain tip top dental health. 

Similarly, with the ‘job for life’ increasingly becoming outdated, jobseeking and, by extension, engaging with recruiters, is also becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence.  

However, recent research has found that the recruitment process is deemed more stressful than a visit to the dentist. Although most dentists won’t be as scary as Steve Martin's Orin from Little Shop of Horrors (see below), it is nonetheless a worrying statistic for recruiters.

Mehul Patel, CEO and Co-Founder of Hired, told us: “It is likely that each and every person reading this article will have felt unengaged at work at some point in their professional careers – it’s something 70% of people attest to.” 

So, if so many people are unhappy at work, why aren’t there more candidates?   

Patel says this is because “the majority of us feel the jobseeking process is a more frustrating option”. 

Hired looked into how stressful this process was, and unearthed some surprising results. Patel tells us more: “Most adults find looking for a job more stressful than getting a root canal, moving house and undertaking public speaking – and even worse than doing their taxes. 

“More than eight in ten (82%) feel that finding a new job is more stressful than planning a wedding, while just over two-thirds (69%) would be less stressed stuck in a lift…” 

And this isn’t confined to the British Isles either: half of candidates located in the US and Australia said they thought finding a new role was too time-consuming, and more than four in ten felt anxious about the process. 

So, what can companies and recruiters do to improve the process? 

Patel concludes: “For many candidates the main request is making it less onerous on them. Of those we spoke to, nearly nine in ten had suggestions. [These included] making it easier and more accessible to connect with appropriate companies to find a better way to link up with companies that fit their skills and interests, [to] learn about potentially relevant opportunities.  

“With 85% of candidates expressing a desire for the process to be made easier for them, the message to companies and recruiters is clear: act now, or risk a serious skills shortage in your organisation.”  

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