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Recruiter Interview
Philippa Greaney | 7 August 2019

The two faces of vulnerability in recruitment

Power - the unspoken element in recruiting (Part One)

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 this blog, I want to touch on the first relationship. 


As recruiters, we need to put ourselves in the shoes of the person applying for the role. Candidates are in a vulnerable situation putting themselves into the marketplace - sometimes for the first time, sometimes after many,  many rejections. 


In my experience, apart from a minority of super confident people, almost all candidates feel on the back foot. It's very natural in this situation to give your power away, and many candidates do. 


When I begin a relationship with a candidate, I try to be very respectful of their vulnerable and less powerful position. At Kin, our role is to get past the 'professional wall' they may have put up, so we can see who they really are. For me, starting the exchange with a lot of warmth is the key to making them feel that they can relax and be themselves. 


If I am bringing a candidate through to interview stage, two other things I've found that make a massive difference to redressing this natural power imbalance, are location and the nature of my interviewing style. Firstly, I like to interview in cafes most of the time, because it is less formal and less intimidating. Secondly, I like to interview in a non-structured and natural way - deliberately making the interview more of 'a conversation' than overtly 'an interview'. If you have any interest in hearing more about this, please email me - I can blog about this in the future. 


I encourage you to be aware of your power, to use your warmth, and to consciously think about what you can do to allow the candidate to come onto a more equal footing with you. You're much more likely to see the real person - which I believe is the essence of our job in the recruitment process.