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Field note—

Recruitment: Say it with feeling

Nik Jarvie-Waldrom

16 June 2017

Recruitment could be described as professional matchmaking. Two parties navigate through position descriptions, job ads, cover letters, CVs and interviews in search of a fruitful relationship. And both parties share the knowledge that this process is hard.

Most often, the power in this budding relationship is with the employer. We’ve been thinking about how this affects the applicants we’re considering, and how we can use this awareness to make recruitment easier for the job-seeker and for ourselves. We’re realising that inviting people to scrutinise us in the same way we do them helps us find the right people and start strong.

For Empathy, navigating this two-way street is a careful process. We review applications, make a long list, talk on the phone with candidates, and hold formal interviews. Once we have a preferred candidate there are working activities, coffee dates with potential future colleagues, and personality profiling.

We want to share a few key principles we keep top of mind when we’re looking for the right person to join the team. These are helpful whether you’re an employer or hopeful employee.

Flexibility: Being as flexible as possible with the timing of communication, interviews and testing means candidates can be discreet with current employers, and be at their best when you’re meeting for the first time.

Honesty: It’s all very well to dazzle someone with your greatest attributes, but give them an idea of what is really going on for you. If you both know what to expect there’s less danger of unpleasant surprises down the road.

Confidence: Whether you’re looking for work or for someone to do it, it helps to be confident in what you’ve achieved to this point. This could mean confidence in your business, in a recent project, or in any area of your experience. Being confident in your team (staff or family, friends, mentors) can be a great help when you reach decision-making time.

Finding the right fit means balancing sound thinking with gut feeling. We’re all working to get it right. Our approach to recruitment combines an intensive testing and vetting process with a dash of picking up on ‘vibes’. And it feels like we have it right this time. ‘We’ being Empathy, which now includes me. I’m finishing this post on my first day at Empathy, after starting it during step four of the recruitment process.

It’s like Inception but with less Leo.

Author: Nik Jarvie-Waldrom
Puts the bop in the bop-shoo-bop-she-bop. Rhythm-obsessed story distiller who sees the quickest path to helping others understand what you really mean.