Why Empathy is the Most Important Skill a Recruiter Can Have

Posted by Doximity TF Team

Why_Empathy_is_the_most_important_skill_for_recruitersEmpathy has become an essential skill for business leaders. It’s a clear positive for working with people, and numerous reports now show that empathy is essential for everything from innovation to retention. 

Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to the thoughts, emotions, or experiences of others. It makes sense, then, that empathy would be a necessary attribute for physician recruiters; you work in an arena that’s profoundly people-oriented. Understanding your candidates’ needs and putting yourself in their shoes is key to your success. 

Do you know what motivates each candidate? Wouldn’t you be a better career coach if you knew what candidates really want in a position or what hurdles they face in their current role? Being empathetic gives you the ability to understand the needs of others and be aware of their feelings and thoughts. 

“If we are to keep our businesses relevant and our consumers happy, we must embrace empathy and let it be the force that drives us forward,” says Jayson Boyers, EdD, a nationally regarded higher education expert, President of Rosemont College, and longtime proponent for empathy.

Successful people don’t operate alone. We all need the support of others, and empathy can help your bottom line, too. But how do you measure your empathy? Simon-Baron-Cohen at the University of Cambridge also has an Empathy Quotient (EQ) Test you can take to measure your level of empathy. This may come more naturally to some people, but empathy can also be learned. Some tactics you can implement to help increase your EQ are outlined below:

    1. Practice active listening. This means you engage with candidates and what they’re saying. Active listening allows candidates the opportunity to open up more. Experts also recommend taking a moment to summarize what you have learned from your conversation with the candidate and ask follow-up questions to ensure you understand.
    2. Be patient. We all have a busy home and work life and stressors come in many forms. Offer some time between questions and don’t assume a wrong response or lack of response is a lack of interest. 
    3. Talk to new people. Try starting a conversation with a stranger or a colleague you don’t know well or follow people on social media who have different backgrounds than you. Going beyond just imagining what someone else’s life is like and actually trying to understand what it’s like builds empathy.
    4. Get to know your candidates beyond their resumes. Think of your candidates as people instead of just a potential lead for a role. Try to understand them and think of things like, what put them on their current career path? What affected their decisions? If you understand what motivates candidates, you have a distinct advantage. 
    5. Show sincere interest in the hopes and goals of people. If you understand the needs and goals of candidates, you’re more likely to find opportunities where they will perform at their highest level – and that means they’re likely to remain engaged and stay long term. 
    6. Make the hiring process clear. Explain how the process works at your organization and outline the timeline from application to interview to onboarding so candidates know what to expect. 
    7. Watch for signs of burnout. This is key in healthcare where physician burnout has reached critical levels. Recognize the signs of burnout before it becomes an issue that could result in turnover or just disengagement. 

Providing empathy during the recruitment process will pay off in the long run. Even if you don’t end up hiring a candidate, creating a positive experience for them can help with your reputation and your organization’s reputation as well. No recruitment process should be purely objective. Without empathy, you may lose out on brilliant candidates. 

Are you using Doximity Talent Finder to attend a special training session on April 12, 2022, where we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to start recruiting using Doximity Talent Finder. We hope you’ll join us. 

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Topics: tips for physician recruitment, learning empathy, critical recruiter skills

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