See the Whole Person

9 June 2021

In our line of work, we are privileged to work with brilliant leaders.

We aim to get to know you by understanding your leadership style together the philosophy and culture of your business. This is an integral part of attracting, developing and retaining great talent for your organisation.

The pandemic has encouraged a new set of leadership behaviours and empathy has emerged as a critical skill.

Whether it has been to manage a remote team during the pandemic, or ensuring employees are safe when going onto a site, business leaders have had to focus on their team’s health and well-being while sustaining a culture that brings out the best in them.

A recent global study by HBR (Harvard Business Review) highlighted that 89% of professionals felt their work-life balance was getting worse. It is therefore essential to listen to the individuals in your team and imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes. As Executive Search and Management Consultants we appreciate the importance of this, every day, from both a candidate and client perspective.

Clearly the economic impact of Covid-19 differs from a larger, established business compared with a SME or a start-up. We have also noted industry specific trends and those less impacted have continued to hire at pace. Conversely, other businesses have had to instigate cost-saving programs, resulting in resizing or restructuring of teams.

In either of the above situations, we have consistently remained the first point of contact, whether for someone who recently been made redundant and is looking for a new opportunity, or helping an organisation grow at pace with the right talent. Leaders have found themselves in situations where they must let go of their people, but some have lacked the experience or skill to do it with empathy.

Being emphatic extends beyond your team, beyond your business and should include those with whom you interact daily. People buy from people and creating a win-win situation will lead to everyone benefiting.

To ensure a better outcome and improved experience for you as the hiring manager, and your candidates:

  • Make sure you have a transparent, open, diverse, and fair hiring process. You are dealing with human beings, and we all want to be respected. 
  • Bring your curious side to an interview and actively engage with your candidates. Being curious will not only create a trusting and safe environment where the candidate can be themselves, but it also gives you the ability to look beyond a candidate’s career history and experiences to see their future potential.
  • Look for the best in people and provide constructive, unbiased and straightforward  feedback. Saying that someone is not “a culture fit” is simply not good enough. You should explain why, or provide the candidates with an insight into what they can be mindful of when they interview next time and how they could upskill.

Several research papers indicate a re-emergence of a War for Talent during 2021 and there is no doubt it remains a highly competitive hiring landscape. Randstad Risesmart UK polled 85 HRDs, from organisations employing approximately 50,000 people, to establish their views on talent in the wake of Covid-19. Almost two-thirds (65%) reported that organisations will need the best people on board to help them rebuild following the pandemic.

Candidates engage with employers and brands when they are treated as individuals.

We believe that showing empathy enables you to differentiate yourself and your business in this highly competitive talent market.

Yvonne Erlandsson, Senior Consultant


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