Is Corporate Meritocracy Dead As Soon As a Merit Matrix Arrives On the Scene?
HR CAPITALIST JOB OF THE MONTH: HR Business Partner (Fortune 500, Charlotte)

One Thing We Should Interview More For: EMPATHY

Because it's hard.  You've got a career, a family, outside interests, etc.

And as an employer, we want you to have all those things.  The thing is, others have those things as well. Empathy

When you step back to look at what the average working professional does, it's incredibly hard.  Nothing usually comes with ease.  

Which brings me to the reason interviewing for empathy is so important - Are you someone that's mature enough to understand that, or are you the first to brutally bitch and criticize rather than slow down and understand what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes? 

There's got to be some empathy for how hard it is to generate results in roles other than your own if you're going to be an effective teammate.  Or an effective coach of people.  It doesn't mean you can't coach for performance or hold people accountable.  It's a worldview.  It's a pre-requisite to accountability.

So interview for empathy in your next interview.  Ask them about a team member who let them down.  Wind them up and let them talk - and figure out if they're a potential team member or just another shark looking for a meal.

You're going to need a bigger boat.

Comments

James Clark

Definitely important that any potential new person is a team fit.

Shannon

I agree 100%. When hiring TA folks for my team, that is one of my top requirements--they must be able to relate to managers and candidates, and understand our customers' perspectives in order to effectively do their job.

LaSalle Network

This is a great point – work ethic and commitment are great qualities in candidates, but it’s also important that they can show compassion for their coworkers. Business is all about relationships, and most candidates won’t go far if they don’t treat their colleagues with respect, and above all have empathy for them. It builds trust and helps develop relationships.

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