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Candidate being interviewed
Philippa Greaney | 13 August 2019

The two faces of vulnerability in recruitment (part two)

Power - the unspoken element in recruiting

In the recruiting process, there are two key relationships between people who don't know each other: 


1)    the one between the recruiter and the candidate 


2)    the one between the candidate and the employer 


In part two of this blog, I want to touch on the second relationship. See here for my previous blog. 


Many employers subconsciously think that they hold all the power in the relationship between themselves and the candidates they will interview. When I hear tell-tale signs that this is at play, I like to politely find a way to bust this myth. 


Sometimes I will tell them about a client I worked with, who thought they had all the power in the exchange right up until the moment the offer was declined, or the salary negotiations started. The moment the employer wants or needs a candidate more than the candidate wants or needs the job - watch the power flip. Employers quickly realise the power they thought they held, was an illusion. 


So, how do we guide our clients towards interactions that are highly respectful of candidates? I sometimes use the dating analogy. (Actually, there are huge similarities between recruiting and blind dating. email me if you want me to blog on this in the future). 


I ask the employer to imagine how a blind date might feel if the other person is sitting across from them asking - are you good at this? can you do that? what are you like in this situation? - ticking off their own personal wish list. By the time you realise that this is in fact the person of your dreams, that person will have walked. 


A much better approach is to start with the end in mind, assume that they are the person of your dreams - treat them as such - and respectfully step away if this doesn't turn out to be the case. 


I encourage you to apply a large dose of humanity when interviewing a candidate for a role. Start the way you mean to continue - as if each candidate is in fact going to be working with your company in the near future. Treat them with that sort of respect, and you are much more likely to hire an outstanding candidate.