I decided to repost this article that I had originally written in 2021 because this past year has reaffirmed that as hiring managers we must encourage interviewing and meeting candidates with empathy and authenticity. There are gaps in many resumes these days. Before rejecting a candidate because their resume has gaps, or it seems they have job hopped, can we pause and ask why to learn more? These have been hard times for many. Layoffs are a reality. Short freelance stints are a reality. Covid and its emotional and financial repercussions are a reality.
Can we connect on a human level with one another?
This is my story:
When people hear that I’ve written a book, they generally assume that I’ve written about recruiting, human resources, or the culture of creativity. After all, with over 20+ years of experience in the creative recruitment field, it’s an expected assumption.
When they learn that my book, The Butterfly Years, is actually about the journey from grief toward hope, a puzzled look crosses their brows, expressing an initial surprise that I share so vulnerably my experience of loss and grief.
You may wonder, what does that have to do with my business? What’s the connection? Well, writing the book had absolutely nothing to do with my business and has everything to do with my business… because it has everything to do with me.
I choose to bring my whole self to my business.
In the book, Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations, Frédéric Laloux explores the concept of new organizations (Teal Organizations) where management and teams focus on creating a culture where the whole self comes to work.
My whole self has dealt with grief this past decade, including the loss of both my parents and step-parents. I wrote about grief because it was hard for me to concentrate, stay focused, or even remain positive. I worked hard to hide what was happening inside. Of course, I did not let candidates or clients, or even my team, get a glimpse at what was truly happening to me on the inside at that time. I thought that I needed to fake it so I could make it. I was wrong.
Over the past ten years, I’ve learned the importance of being true to myself, being authentic, and encourage genuineness from those around me, professionally and personally.
So this is a request to all the hiring managers and recruiters who are interviewing right now. Everyone, every single candidate that you connect with, is more than their LinkedIn profile. They are so much more than what you see on their resume. It’s key to learning more about a candidate’s interests and passions, about their core values, aspirations, and motivations.
As you interview new candidates or manage existing ones, ask yourself who is the “whole self” that you’re interviewing and meet them where they are with empathy and authenticity.
President, Artisan Creative