Recruiters are one of the least happy careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, recruiters rate their career happiness 2.7 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 13% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy recruiters are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Sales manager
2.8
$127k
Executive assistant
2.8
$62k
Bank manager
2.8
$132k
Mail superintendent
2.7
$80k
Compensation and benefits manager
2.7
$128k
Recruiter
2.7
$62k
Legal secretary
2.7
$48k
Account manager
2.7
$47k
Compliance manager
2.7
$125k
Advertising sales agent
2.7
$52k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are recruiters happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do recruiters find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as recruiters?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are recruiter’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are recruiters making the best use of their abilities?

Are recruiters happy with their salary?

Recruiters rated their satisfaction with their salaries 3.0/5. Few are explicitly unhappy with their salaries, with most recruiters having generally positive views of their salary.

We asked recruiters how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

3.0 out of 5 stars

2819 recruiters

5 Star
10%

10% of recruiters rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
26%

26% of recruiters rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
28%

28% of recruiters rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
20%

20% of recruiters rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
15%

15% of recruiters rated their compensation 1 stars

Do recruiters find their jobs meaningful?

On average, recruiters rate the meaningfulness of their work a 2.5/5. The majority of recruiters struggle to find any sort of meaning in their work, likely resulting in less satisfaction with the career overall.

We asked recruiters how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

2.5 out of 5 stars

2823 recruiters

5 Star
7%

7% of recruiters rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
15%

15% of recruiters rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
24%

24% of recruiters rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
27%

27% of recruiters rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
27%

27% of recruiters rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as recruiters?

Recruiters rated their personality fit with their work an average of 3.7/5. The majority of recruiters find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked recruiters how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

3.7 out of 5 stars

3103 recruiters

5 Star
26%

26% of recruiters rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
35%

35% of recruiters rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
24%

24% of recruiters rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
9%

9% of recruiters rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
6%

6% of recruiters rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is a recruiter’s work environment?

As a whole, recruiters rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.3/5. Most of them tend to enjoy, or at least not be actively bothered by, their work environment.

We asked recruiters how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.3 out of 5 stars

3097 recruiters

5 Star
16%

16% of recruiters rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
32%

32% of recruiters rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
25%

25% of recruiters rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
18%

18% of recruiters rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
8%

8% of recruiters rated their work environment 1 stars

Are recruiters making the best use of their abilities?

Former recruiters on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 2.7/5. Recruiters tend to feel that they don’t manage to use their abilities to their fullest, when compared to other careers.

We asked recruiters how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

2.7 out of 5 stars

3103 recruiters

5 Star
8%

8% of recruiters rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
17%

17% of recruiters rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
29%

29% of recruiters rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
28%

28% of recruiters rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
18%

18% of recruiters rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars