If we see someone struggling to cross a road, for example, most of us are falling over ourselves to help. However many of us lack this sense of empathy in our working lives, and I would argue this is particularly true in recruitment. Which got me thinking about how we got here, why it is so damaging for the industry, and how we can start to change it.
How we got into this mindset is quite easy to answer in my view. Imagine stepping back to a time before the internet, before the telephone, and even before the post. Individuals who were seeking work would approach the employer personally. I expect they would take some time to have a conversation that was worlds away from a list of bullet points on a piece of paper. I am guessing of course – but I imagine there are a higher richness and insight to that exchange. Even if the candidate was not the right person for the job, they probably had an opportunity to discuss their abilities, and where they would need training. It would have been a completely humanised experience – where dismissing somebody’s interest based on one small flaw would be unlikely.
We are now at a point where recruiters can be sifting through hundreds of online job applications in a week. That has quite understandably led to a level of fatigue with the process – candidates who have no relevant experience applying for roles. We are left with a Tinder-style situation where unless a candidate fits the spec explicitly, they are quickly and quite mindlessly ‘swiped to the left’. Surely we are missing some of the best candidates, who perhaps don’t tick every box, but would thrive and excel if given the opportunity to interview.
The high volume of candidate applications paired with an increasingly burdensome workload has made many of us lose our empathy. We busily sort candidates into yes and no, black and white, the binary. Anybody that falls into the grey is more often than not swept up in the NO pile. Why? Because it would involve some consideration and time to pick up the phone and discuss suitability with the candidate – to work out if the grey is an opportunity. When we dismiss those candidates in the middle, we are not only doing them a disservice, but we are also letting down our clients. Because of course, we all know how important employee diversity is for well-functioning teams, and organisational innovation.
You might be wondering where the time is going to come from to be ‘empathetic’ – because it will take more physical and emotional effort. It will come from the places where you can spare it when you realise the benefits of changing the way you approach your candidate search. That is of course not a straightforward answer, but I am confident it is one you will have no issue with when you experience the positive impact of Empathic Recruitment℠.
When the recruitment industry boomed, the best model to ensure you get the best candidates was always a multi-agency and contingency-based approach. The more agencies you had on board, the more connections you could reach out to via these 3rd parties. Each recruiter had their personal networks, and that’s still true. I have a vast network of IT project managers in Bristol. However, times and technology have changed. When any of my contacts find themselves looking for work, they will contact me, but will also be available on social media or easy to find online through job boards.
As soon as anyone applies for one job on any of the available boards, every recruiter with access to it can find you. Social Media is another platform that’s use has grown exponentially for recruiters. You can let anyone who stumbles across your profile by searching using key skills know that you are available. LinkedIn will actually market your profile if you click on the option saying you’re open to opportunities!
When you have multiple agencies working against each other is not a case of widening the net anymore. You create duplicated efforts raising the price of recruitment. If a recruiter fills one in five roles that they work, they have to charge a lot more for the positions they do end up filling. Exclusivity is a simple concept but contingency is so embedded as the way work with agencies. That’s because before the internet and its services were available, it was! The average fill rate for the biggest agencies all of which tend to work on a contingency-based model fills one in five of the roles they work on. I know, I’ve worked for them.
The terms of businesses I’ve made work so the fee is directly in the proportion of how committed a client is. The way business should be! Based on this, I have technology that allows me to simultaneously search every job board and certain social media sites through my own portal. It collates and prioritises the results from each in order of suitability into my platform allowing quick online resourcing. A consolidation of the entire online market in one search, and that’s nearly everyone nowadays!
It also worth mentioning this: If you were looking for opportunities, and there are two jobs of interest, one being advertised by four agencies, the other directly through one, which one would you be more interested in? The assumptions that can come with multiple agencies being on board are generally damaging to your companies profile. Its best to find a good recruiter, be loyal and save yourself some money for a better service. No duplication, no high costs, an absolute no-brainer!
People often ask me why I called it Empathic Recruitment℠ so I thought I’d share my answer. I named L J Doulton “the empathic recruitment consultancy” for two fundamental reasons. Firstly, I developed the service that we offer by empathising with employers. I thought ‘what sort of service would I want from a recruitment agency and what are the current issues?’
Secondly, I fully believe that all the candidate’s attributes that you get to see with this method are either a by-product of empathy or result from a lack of it. Someone helping a colleague is an act of kindness, but it’s normally because that person could relate to their situation. It is these characteristics you can observe using video application methods, that I believe are more important than what you see on paper. Ideas thrive when you cluster together likeminded team members and the collaborative IQ of a strong team will always exceed any individual
An example of this would be, If you are a fantastic programmer and know every language with all the qualifications, but don’t know how to empathise, you won’t be able to think of the scenarios your end-user is in, so you won’t be able to make such a useful product. Knowledge is irrelevant if you don’t know how to apply it and it’s empathy that drives the most significant achievements.
There is the third reason: High performing teams rely on empathy to make them work smoothly. Empathy is the catalyst for turning a group of individuals into a team.. i.e. “we are all just cogs in the gearbox of life, and empathy is the oil”. Empathic teams produce better outputs and are the foundations of resilience and of long-term corporate prosperity.
To find out more about Empathic Recruitment℠ gives us a call.
It can be hard shortlisting potential candidates when you are comparing the CV versions of people. Paper-based processing has its restrictions and is open to manipulation and equally, misinterpretation. Employers will only meet a small selection of candidates even though you can have 50 applications. How you filter these applications for the interview stage is crucial. It seems unnecessary to second guess when technology is forever growing more sophisticated making it possible to counter these problems.
That’s why amongst other emerging technologies, we include an Interactive Video Platform (IVP) tool in our shortlisting process. It allows candidates to submit video responses to automated questions within the original application. This offers employers a greater insight into the suitability of each candidate and can save a significant amount of time for both while increasing the value of the shortlisting data tremendously.
Our IVP is a quick and reliable tool that offers more insight into the ethics of a person, their social capabilities, their personality, their leadership and communication skills all of which are essential when hiring the best candidate for the team.
We still assess information on their CV and it’s often this exercise that inspires some of the further questioning asked in face to face interviews. What an IVP allows you do is quickly get a first impression of someone’s personality. If you have 3 equal CV’s and only one interview slot, this feature will make your life a lot easier! You can also conduct live interviews online and compare these with other applicants and share them with other managers through our platform to ensure you hire the right person for the team, as well as for the job description.
Have you ever had a perfect application on paper only to be disappointed after conducting it? Not anymore!
Posting job adverts at the right time can beat the competition or help reach the intended market maximising job applications. The times that people apply vary for different jobs. This can be used to help predict the best times to advertise your vacancy. People looking for work spend approximately half an hour daily. This is done through various job boards so timing this right and in the right places, can be an efficient way of boosting your coverage.
One job board has 200 million visitors monthly handling 37.5 million resumes. A surprisingly large portion of which apply either midday or dinnertime from Monday through to Wednesday. These rarely get many on Fridays and weekends. This is the active and employed group. Employed people will have a tendency to apply in the evening and rarely in the day excluding lunch time. Unemployed candidates apply more frequently during the afternoon which makes sense. Although there’s a variety of different groups the times they apply spread the traffic out, Monday, Tuesdays and sometimes Wednesdays will typically win the race of the busiest times people look for jobs online.
However, there you can take this concept a lot further. Variations in who applies and what times they look online could have you better off posting on different days on occasion. A good example is, if you were hiring for a graduate position, statistics show that graduates tend to follow a similar pattern to people out of work. Most apply for jobs on Monday and Tuesday, stopping from midday, and resuming in the late evening. But the most popular day that graduates have been shown to apply is Sunday evenings from 7pm onwards. If you were looking for a Graduate, having the campaign start on Sunday evening puts you at the top of the job board when they’re likely to be looking.
I’ve noticed a lot of companies are reluctant when hiring graduates. Young people leave university and are often looking for their first professional role. Yet most companies will often only accept candidates with experience. Graduates have so many long-term benefits as well as a lower initial salary and have more to prove. That isn’t always a bad thing! When I see Graduates struggling to get through the door it can be frustrating.
Getting a university degree is liberating, and now this person wants a professional career. Jobs are competitive, so graduates have gratitude when they’re employed, and tends to do well and commit for this reason. The fact they don’t have experience which can seem a disadvantage which also creates a more grateful applicant.
Previous jobs give us experience and skills for new jobs. Some people do not move on and learn new skills, whilst graduates are eager to learn and to improve and adapt your companies habits.
Graduates are familiar with the technology, hardware, and software, (99% of people aged 18 to 24 own a smartphone); this can be a useful consideration when filling a particular role.
Diversity is important and improves innovation and performance when cultures merge and graduates come from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Sometimes overlooking a lack of previous experience is good, focusing on a person’s potential and progression instead is the long-term business model. Recruiting people with particular qualities encourages growth, and you may find someone great to lead your company one day in the future.
There are risks hiring less experienced candidates of course, but there are actually different but comparable risks in hiring anyone and graduates provide technical aptitude and adaptability, as well as valuable characteristics. Its a way of recruiting tomorrow’s talent today and you may just find somebody great.
Empathic Recruitment ℠ allows you access to all of these areas that previously you wouldn’t see within the application process, throwing away talent without even knowing it.
Companies are always looking for technical staff. Whether its software coders, engineers, data scientists, and web designers. It’s hard to find people with strong tech skills, and who also fits your business culture. Most hiring managers and recruiters found it challenging finding workers with tech skills as it is. To find someone who also has the personality and social competence for that particular team a challenge.
Having a lack of tech talent in your business can damage revenue without you knowing, and will always slow down development. Coders, software engineers, data scientists, and web designers are more needed in this “tech-bubble-society” than ever.
The technology field is broad and every company works differently, so finding an absolutely perfect match is unlikely. However, finding someone with the majority of skills but with strong social capabilities isn’t. Having a team fit leads to new recruits quickly inheriting the skills necessary from their colleagues.
Empathic Recruitment ℠ uses video recruitment software to gain information needed to make informed hiring decisions, gathering information on personality traits, work ethic and social suitability compared to paper-based data processing, allowing hiring managers to meticulously shortlist.
By seeing people directly, you automatically assess their personality and social skills and are more likely emphasise with their story as you’re more likely to know if it’s genuine. It a allows us to use our ‘gut instincts’ and intuition which can inform us when something isn’t ‘quite right’ about that person for this position.
Recruitment Technology is growing fast and can save a lot of time when used correctly. You do still need a human involved to get the most of technology. Automating recruitment completely is impossible, for now! Finding people with suitable skills for a role is one thing and AI allows us to automate that pretty well. Finding someone who fits a particular business is a lot more complicated.
With the recruitment process as it stands, matching these are often a complete lottery. It’s an especially important consideration when avoiding a low retention of staff. So why is phase one of shortlisting based purely on CV’s when you can’t see these traits on paper? It’s always worth establishing genuine connections with as many applicants as you can in order to find the right stuff which simply isn’t possible when looking at a CV.
Whoever you hire, will not only contribute to representing your company to your customers and other prospects, but they could potentially contribute to positive or negative change internally too. Negativity or unhappiness can be as contagious as a laugh or positivity in an office environment.
Video recruitment allows you to have a snapshot of every person that has shown an interest in your business. They don’t have to answer questions on the spot and can do so without travel. It allows you to compare candidates more easily. Boolean search is a Recruiters searching language of choice. There are huge developments in this now that allows searches to think for themselves.
Our objective is to change the paper-based recruitment practices into a process that focuses on human connection and emotional intelligence. When a candidate’s individual skills and qualifications match your job, it doesn’t mean they will match your team, direct report or overall company culture. We called the methodology of focusing on this Empathic Recruitment ℠.
We use artificially intelligent searching software to make sure we reach out to as many suitable candidates as possible!
Empathic Recruitment focuses on personality and culture matching. Empathy can be the missing ingredient to a good employee or finding one in the first place. Without it, a “what’s in it for me” quick buck mentality can quickly develop. When missing empathy, it helps maintain an ideology where our perception of perfection measures one area; Academic ability, when there is a full spectrum of considerations needed to truly identify perfection.
Someone might be perfect for a precise job or business but may not be for others. This could be the same role at a competitor but the internal staff structure and culture may not fit. We conclude suitability from a CV when shortlisting which is open to misinterpretation or manipulation. The way companies engage when using agencies, can create ulterior motives that break down trust and communication.
The truth is, being academic doesn’t mean someone knows how to apply it, or whether they’re motivated to do so. It’s the emotional part of the brain that dictates which option is preferable/suitable or profitable. It’s what tells us when to stop comparing features, costs, risks or benefits of different options available to us and deciding what’s best. You simply cannot express these abilities from a CV.
As if this wasn’t important enough, emotions also alert us to factors that our conscious, rational awareness can miss. That’s despite their critical importance to us in the future. ‘Gut feelings’ or ‘intuition’ can inform us when something is not quite right about a person, a situation or a business deal even when they look good on paper.
You hire a new junior with limited experience within an office of experts. The rapport between this person and the team is there immediately. They consequently absorb information and the knowledge they need from colleagues quickly. You then employ someone who’s already an expert in the industry. They do it differently and doesn’t agree with the rest of them. The internal communication shrinks and productivity of that office shrink with it.
They say knowledge is power, and the more people you know, the more knowledge you have access to which I agree with. When someone works within a company, they retain significant information that could be useful to the rest of the team. That knowledge can be lost if staff don’t get along or have conflicting goals or morals to each other. That’s why it’s key to consider this when recruiting. The collaboration of like-minded professionals within businesses would make a huge difference to the company’s output.
Firstly, we use artificially intelligent semantic searching software with job boards and social media allowing us to identify the best candidates based on online information such as CV’s. This gathers a pool of candidates who seem to have the skills. We let them know about the role in case it’s of interest. We include an Interactive Video Platform (IVP) tool in our shortlisting process allowing candidates to submit video responses to automated questions within the applications. It gives employees a snapshot of someone’s personality delivering an emotional and social competency matching mechanism. It also saves a significant amount of time for both whiles increasing the value of the shortlisting data tremendously. Employers will know who they are interviewing before they’ve met them and conduct live interviews to where convenient. We call this approach Empathic Recruitment ℠.