Making Mental Health a Priority Every Day
Every year, millions of people across the globe are faced with some element of mental illness. It affects individuals, families, communities and organizations, and it is estimated that workplace stress alone costs over $190 billion in North America. That number grows exponentially when you consider the global impacts.
It’s such an important topic and yet it’s very difficult to speak about. There is a stigma associated with mental illness that must be broken. We have to stand together to support one another not only when someone is dealing with mental illness, but when an individual begins to demonstrate signs of struggle.
Unfortunately, workplace burnout has become common for many. We’ve experienced a new way of work that has clear benefits, but we can’t overlook the health impacts of having our work and home lives essentially becoming one. As a leader of people, this is something top of mind for me and others alike. We spend a great deal of time with our people and need to be more aware of signs of burnout, workplace stress or other mental health challenges.
We have an obligation to equip our leaders to notice the signs and be prepared to engage in a conversation with those who may be suffering so they can direct them to the proper resources. With the talent landscape continuing to get hotter and more competitive, organizations who don’t make mental wellness a priority risk missing out on great talent and an increase in turnover. People want to work for an organization that values them and puts their well-being first.
So how can you get started?
- Make mental health a priority in your organization. Talk about it openly and frequently to begin removing the stigma.
- Provide proper education and training to enable your leaders and individuals to notice potential signs, facilitate conversations and guide people to resources available to them and their families.
- Offer wellness benefits specifically addressing mental health and ensure people know how to access and leverage them. Then, measure the utilization and make modifications as necessary to ensure their success.
- Provide programs that minimize the potential for burnout, such as unlimited PTO, company-wide shutdowns, flexible work schedules, Work from Anywhere programs and more.
- Ensure mental health is part of your ongoing wellness strategy. Don’t wait for a single day or month to make it a priority.
At SmartRecruiters, we prioritize well-being and offer benefits, programs and education that support our people and their families. We speak openly about burnout, workplace stress and mental health. We have created a culture of transparency and trust where people feel supported and encouraged to speak up and seek assistance when needed. It’s one of the many reasons I am proud to work for this organization.
Just remember, you don’t need to have all the answers, provide the “perfect” programs or be the experts on mental health. Demonstrating support, openness, compassion and a desire to listen is a great start. So don’t delay, now is the perfect time to take action. Your people will thank you and so will their families.
By Lisa Sterling
SmartRecruiters Chief People Officer
Receive articles like this
Receive articles like this
Jobs you might be interested in
Working at SmartRecruiters
Over 10 years ago a colleague came to me with information about a startup in Silicon Valley with a great vision to help people find jobs. At that time, I had dreamed about joining a new early-stage venture and working to make it successful. It felt like my dreams were coming true! And that’s how it all started. From Engineer to LeaderI joined SmartRecruiters as a Software Engineer and stayed in this role for five years, eventually growing into more senior-level roles. Then, I pivoted to the leadership track. It felt like an entirely different profession, despite working with the same people, and on the same type of projects. Collective developmentThrough the years, SmartRecruiters grew rapidly. I started by managing a single team and now I am leading the entire Internal Engineering function. I manage the platform, help to navigate the architecture, and provide input for the technical roadmap. The Internal Engineering Platform can be perceived as the foundation for the SmartRecruiters software that is built for and used by our customers. The ability to efficiently deliver direct customer value is truly boosted by such a foundation in the first place. In simple words, our customers are the SmartRecruiters’ product and engineering groups. Shared time, shared visionIn the beginning, we operated almost like a family. On one hand, we were working from scratch on fulfilling the vision of our founder, Jerome Ternynck, to make hiring easy. On the other hand, we were having a lot of fun. Throughout the years we expanded rapidly and developed into a structured company, Our culture promotes hard work and encourages support. The strong vision of the company played a big part from the beginning. I understood the purpose and believed it not only was coherent, but meaningful as well. Challenge accepted, challenge overcome At SmartRecruiters, I feel that I can grow, learn something new, and be challenged. Innovation happens constantly. And while there are challenges, there's also a comfort zone within which I know I am being supported with whatever is ahead of us. I feel inspired to grow, develop, and resolve issues. Making an impactAt SmartRecruiters, we are really working for our users. We are holistically moving in a specific direction to help people find better jobs and to help companies find great candidates. One notable aspect of what drives this is the involvement among employees. Their willingness to work hard and produce as much impact as possible is truly inspiring. Values that go well togetherAdditionally, the values at SmartRecruiters make sense as a whole. But to choose one, #Impact truly resonates with me. We really are a customer focused company. If we can deliver better, bigger, and greater impact to our customers, we will find a way to do it! By Mateusz GrabowskiSenior Director, Platform Engineering & Reliability
TeaserDiversity & Inclusion
At SmartRecruiters, we’re on a mission to make our workplace the best it can be, and that includes ensuring we are an open, inclusive and diverse employer. We’re enjoying celebrating Pride because it’s a great way to promote awareness and equality within the company as well as increase understanding of the issues faced by those in the LGBTQ+ community. Our commitment to Pride, however, goes beyond just this month, and we’re working to ensure our colleagues feel safe, happy and included within our workplace. We spoke to Shawn, an Associate Product Designer based out of San Francisco. He told us about his journey with SmartRecruiters, what Pride means to him, and how we’ve enabled a culture of openness and understanding. Here’s his story:Beyond the Rainbow Logo: Celebrating Pride with PurposeI joined SmartRecruiters three years ago and have also been leading our Pride Employee Center of Influence (ECOI) for almost a year now. In that time, we’ve held various events, including lunch and learns, presentations, panel discussions and more. Previously, I had an experience with a Pride Employee Resource Group (ERG) at an internship, where I participated in a panel where people shared their stories of coming out. It was really impactful, so when I came here, I knew I wanted to be part of leading that conversation and helping others’ voices be heard. Pride in the Workplace We all see the rainbow logos and posts from companies throughout June to acknowledge Pride Month. And this is important because celebrating Pride as a company affirms to your LGBTQIA+ employees that they're safe in their workplace. Many countries around the world still don't protect them from workplace discrimination and some even punish people in the community for existing, so just knowing that they are safe is key. But Pride Month cannot be the only time of the year that this is a priority. Companies need to practice what they preach. If they’re going to turn their logos into a rainbow for the month, they better be doing something for their people, whether it’s programming or offering support in some way. Organizations must show their commitment through actions in the community. Why We Celebrate While it’s great to celebrate Pride and bring visibility to the community, it’s important to remember that the first Pride was a riot. Part of being able to celebrate Pride Month is becoming educated on the history of how it came to be. It's easy to wave a rainbow flag, but you have to really remember what is behind that and the people who fought for your right to wave it. For those outside the community, this involves understanding what those who identify in the LGBTQIA+ community have gone through and continue to experience. So how can you do this? Through allyship. Here are a few key ways to show your support to the LGBTQIA+ community: Identify Yourself as a Supporter of the Community A great start is using Pride Month to raise your hand as an ally by attending events, wearing Pride shirts, writing a social media post or whatever it may be to show your support. By doing this, you are showing others they have a safe place to be themselves around you. Understanding the LGBTQIA+ Experience There are a lot of aspects of being part of the LGBTQIA+ community that may be misunderstood. One example is when people talk about coming out, it’s often spoken about as a one-time thing, but that's not the reality. The reality is that you're coming out all the time in conversations with coworkers where you want to mention that you and your partner did something together over the weekend or speaking on a panel about your experiences in the community. It’s a constant experience to have to question, “Is this person safe to come out to? Can I talk about my partner or my identity? Do I have to change my wording and pronouns to feel safe, especially in the workplace?” This is one of the reasons we need to know that our workplace is safe so we can talk to our colleagues in an authentic way and bring our true selves to work. Continuously Learning A high-impact and simple way to show respect to members of the community is using the correct pronouns. This may be intimidating to some, so the first step is to become educated on what pronouns are out there and why it’s important to use them. If you have friends who use unfamiliar pronouns and maybe you're a little bit confused, just ask them. Many people will be open to telling you why that pronoun is important to them and how you can best respect their boundaries. Finally, if you mess up, learn how to correctly handle it. Everyone is learning, everyone is going to experience this. If you use the wrong pronouns with someone, say a quick sorry, use the right pronoun and move on with the conversation. A lot of times when people make a mistake, they turn it into a big deal in front of others, which puts the affected person in an uncomfortable situation. It's okay to make mistakes. Acknowledge it, correct yourself and move on. And if you really feel like you made a big mistake, addressing it with them in private later on is usually the better option. Speaking Up Finally, an important way for an ally to be supportive is, if you see or hear something that's out of line, you should be the one calling it out. Often, the person that is subject to whatever's going on is not in the position to speak back. Celebrating Pride at SmartRecruiters This year at SmartRecruiters, we're doing a big Pride Month celebration. Our main event is The Queer Vaudeville Showcase, which will feature performers who then share their experiences and educate us a bit on why it's important to celebrate Pride. We’ll also be providing an opportunity for people to ask questions, so it will be fun but also informational. In addition to the event, there are a few other ways our Pride ECOI members have committed to creating a meaningful celebration beyond the rainbow logos: We’ll be sharing resources with information on how people can get involved within their local communities, such as Pride events and parades. Especially with a remote workforce, we believe it's important to give people the tools to be able to celebrate on their own.We’re sending out free SmartRecruiters Pride t-shirts to everyone who wants one so they can celebrate and show their support virtually. Especially in the times of COVID and with remote work in general, it's really important that we make a concerted effort to create a sense of community. Our ECOI members have voted to contribute a portion of our budget to the Ali Forney Center to aid LGBTQIA+ homeless youth. People spend a lot of their time at work, so creating that opportunity for connection is more important than ever. You’re offering your people a sense of belonging, even if they’re not sitting together in an office. In global companies like ours, some team members may even be living in areas where Pride is not celebrated, so creating that space at work and giving them the opportunity to connect with other people is critical. Join SmartRecruiters, Bring Your True Self to Work If you’re feeling inspired and want to work in a company that enables you to feel comfortable being your truest self, we may have an opportunity for you. Browse our available product jobs today or join our talent community to find out more about what SmartRecruiters has to offerBy Shawn Fleming Associate Product Designer
As an HRBP at SmartRecruiters, I spend a majority of my time enabling people managers and their teams to be the most effective they can be. If we want people who are inspired and ready to achieve big goals, we have to make sure everyone has the support they need. This is why we provide amazing wellness tools and resources to our people across the globe!Therapy on Demand What I love most about our benefits is they are deeply anchored in our company culture. As a people-first organization, our priority is your well-being in all facets of your life. One example that is part of our benefits package is free access to on-demand therapy. As a SmartRecruiters employee, I can reach out to a professional therapist whenever I need it with the option to ask questions and receive thoughtful responses. We also have access to resources - like books, videos and sample exercises - along with the ability to schedule one-off therapy sessions for deep and meaningful conversations about any topic, such as troubling feelings, career challenges, how to effectively support others and more.Supporting Our PeopleLeading a team comes with many beautiful moments and can be very rewarding. But it also includes tough moments that create stress and pressure which can be emotionally draining. In those difficult moments, I remind those I work with about the old but simple truth: you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first if you want to effectively support those around you.SmartRecruiters benefits can act as your oxygen mask when you need one. You’re able to choose what works best for you from a wide range of options, including but not limited to the following:Unlimited paid time off to ensure you can rest and recharge when you need Wellness stipend to start yoga classes, try a meditation app or any other activity that will benefit your healthTwice annual company-wide shutdowns to provide a break for the entire organization so you can truly disconnect and enjoy uninterrupted time offAbility to take a “workation” to get a break from your routine and change your environment for a bit Access to professional therapy to release stress and learn how to manage it effectivelyAt SmartRecruiters, we care about our people. Should you join our team, you will always be a priority and have access to the tools and resources you need to take care of yourself first. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I encourage you to invest in self-care and ensure you’re working at an organization that takes your well-being seriously.By Kaja Mądzik HR Business Partner, Poland
When companies talk about their mission and values, it can be difficult to tell if they’re just well-intentioned words or if they actually resonate with their customers and employees. At SmartRecruiters, we live ours every day, and it’s apparent in the way our teams work together and through our impact in the market. So who are we and what is important to us? As SmartRecruiters CEO Jerome Ternynck has shared, our mission is to connect people to jobs they love by helping organizations more effectively attract talent and helping people find roles that are perfect for them. “People who work at SmartRecruiters share a few core values. The first one is Impact, and that speaks to us being very focused on our mission. The second is As One, which is about us working together as a team. The third value is CEO, or people being able to own their job and deliver what they're expected to deliver with full autonomy and full empowerment. The fourth is Smarter and that is about how we are able to take the learnings that we get from the market to actually improve ourselves. When you join SmartRecruiters as an organization, it's really the mission you take on and that's a mission to help us elevate recruiting and make it a better world.”To get a true understanding of what these mean, let’s take a look at just a few examples of how our values have become reality: Impact Since the tragic invasion of Ukraine, our colleagues in Krakow, Poland immediately began donating supplies, transporting people across borders and even welcoming displaced families into their homes. Soon, more than 4 million people will be looking for jobs, and we're proud to be working on additional initiatives that will help our customers quickly hire Ukrainians. Our Founder and CEO Jerome spoke to Bloomberg News about the steps we're taking to make a difference. Watch the clip here. As OneBehind every project completed and product launched at SmartRecruiters is a cross-functional team that made it happen. From our weekly Delights to quarterly product releases to the launching of this new career center, every success has been possible because we're doing it together. CEOThe ability for SmartRecruiters employees to work autonomously and take ownership of their careers has led to several 10-year anniversaries in 2022, including that of Michal Nowak. Michal joined the company as the seventh engineer on staff and is now a VP of Engineering. Read his story of career advancement and growth at SmartRecruiters here.SmarterSmartRecruiters recently received the highest recognition of Strategic Leader in the 2022 Fosway Group 9-Grid for Talent Acquisition for the second year in a row. Since 2019 we've been increasing our position by meeting the needs of complex enterprises and achieving high levels of customer impact and satisfaction through continuous improvement in our offerings. Read more about what this recognition means here.---If you can relate to these four company values and ways of working, we would love to see your application! Take a moment to search jobs and apply or set up job alerts and join our talent community if you don't see a fit today. As new positions open up, you'll be the first to know.
Ten years in tech feels like an eternity, but I joined SmartRecruiters in April 2012 and haven’t looked back. I was engineer number seven at the company, and we were just setting up an office in Krakow. That’s how my journey began. Career Growth The best part about working here has been the ability to change my career multiple times. I went from being an engineer in one of our product teams to building internal tooling for other engineers and then finally into management, where I was able to grow my team. One month ago, around my 10th anniversary, I was promoted to VP of Engineering. Changing my role and focus every few years was an incredible learning experience. My organization grew over time, and now I have a chance to develop new engineering leaders. Impactful Work Working at SmartRecruiters is unique because we are here to connect people with jobs, and I don't think there are a lot of problems out there that have such a massive impact on the global economy and people's lives. If we do our job well, a hospital will hire talented doctors, a school will get great teachers, and millions of job-seekers will apply and get through the interview process with less stress. This is something that keeps a lot of us here. The recruitment industry has a lot of opportunities for improvement, and we believe technology can do that. If you are a technologist, this is the perfect place to be. The company structure ensures you directly impact the product. You can see how the features you build immediately make a difference in the users' life. It is the perfect blend of product management, design, and engineering working together to solve a challenging problem. Leadership When people choose to stay in or leave a job, an important factor is leadership. I’ve been happy at SmartRecruiters for so long because I've never met a person like our CEO Jerome, who can share a vision so vividly and talk about the company's direction with such passion and clarity. He is also a product person, so it's a perfect mix of having a charismatic CEO who really understands digital products and cares about them deeply. Diversity We also have a very diverse group of R&D leaders. Our CTO, the VP of Product, one of the VPs of Engineering, and the Director of Design are all accomplished women leaders who are amazing at their jobs. They really do care about diversity and inclusion and ensuring that they are continuing to bring in even more diverse talent to drive our mission forward. #AsOne One of SmartRecruiters values is “As One,” and you really feel it here. It's not an empty phrase. The scale-up experience can be overwhelming. We are growing fast, experimenting a lot and trying new things all the time. Lots of things are in-flight, which can be a stressful experience. One way to mitigate this is to have a strong team that cares about each other. And that has been the case for me. I am surrounded by very kind, supportive people who have invested a lot in me over the years. Job Opportunities As we continue to scale, we’re hiring engineers for our R&D teams in EMEA. If you are interested in joining SmartRecruiters, we are remote-first but also have offices located in Krakow and Berlin. I invite you to search our openings below and connect with me on LinkedIn if you have any questions. Click below to search for jobs in Research & Development By Michal Nowak SmartRecruiters VP of Engineering
Jobs you have shown an interest in