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  • Amy Oviedo

Mr. Rogers Can Help Train You To Be A Successful Recruiter

There are 3 ways to ultimate success:

The first way is to be kind.

The second way is to be kind.

The third way is to be kind.

-Fred Rogers


Mister Rogers said it 3 times, and I am going to say it again: Recruiters, be kind. As a child, I can vividly recall rushing home from school to catch the beginning of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood at 3:30. As an adult, and a recruiting professional, the timeless lessons have remained with me.


The job search process is work. Even the most qualified candidate applying at the most efficient company is putting themselves out there and investing some serious time seeking a new job. Add in post-application radio silence, inefficient hiring processes, and evergreen job posts and nerves can be more than a little frayed.


You don’t have to live in the Neighborhood of Make Believe to imagine the difference some humanity could make. Opportunities for kindness in recruiting are everywhere. Simple human kindness can set you apart as a recruiting professional and improve your employer brand in significant ways. Let's look at how we can show kindness to ourselves by being kind to candidates and hiring teams.


Kindness to your candidates. (Yes, all of them.)


Kindness to The One

Kindness to your top candidate can ensure they become your most recent hire. It can also boost productivity and job satisfaction when they do.


Build your interview process on open and prompt communication. Whenever possible, advocate to make salary ranges, benefits, and other perks fully transparent. Don’t make them wait for an offer, unnecessarily. Avoid making them negotiate for the pay their experience deserves (and be honest when it doesn’t).

After hire, spend the extra time for a considerate hand-off to the onboarding team and their new manager. Being the new kid is tough. Share a list of expectations and contacts for different needs to start your candidate off on the right foot. Follow-up with a reminder to the hiring and onboarding team to ensure they are ready to make your candidate feel welcome on Day 1.


Kindness to Everyone Else

Runners up and those never in the running deserve kindness too- and are likely to need it more. Take a minute to share feedback that may make the next experience more successful. Share an alternate job within your company or network that may be a better fit.

Say thank you.


Kindness to The Hiring Manager/Team

It can be extremely frustrating to source and prepare candidates only to lose them after a face-to-face with the hiring manager. Take a deep breath. Remember that YOU are the expert. What is obvious to you may not be obvious to them. Listen openly to their feedback. Educate them on the subject that derailed the interview. Treat them as partners and they’ll treat your candidates with respect.


Kindness to Yourself

This is two-prong:

  • Kindness begets kindness (aka the karma principle)

Recruiting is all about building relationships and people remember a good deed. Taking an extra three minutes to tell John that his email address said JohnD@gmail.vom probably won’t derail your schedule. But how much more likely does that make John to talk to someone else about your company… or share your LinkedIn post…or grant you a referral? Time spent on acts of kindness will pay off in other ways. In other words, kindness to others = kindness to yourself.

  • Giving yourself grace

Have you been here? You invest a great deal of time sourcing, assessing, grooming, and preparing the perceived perfect candidate. In experience, culture, and interest: They fit your role. You’ve sent the appropriate reminders and prepped the hiring team to ensure the ideal candidate experience for them. Interview day comes and you are confident... And then the candidate doesn’t show. Some days the best laid plans can’t alter the chaotic plan of the universe.


Recognize when things are out of your control. Focus on the positive; Candidate number two just got their big break and YOU get to give it to them. Whether to others or to yourself, there are hundreds of opportunities for small acts of humanity throughout a recruiter’s day. These small acts provide the opportunity for massive strides in delivering on the promises of your employer brand. Let’s all button up our cardigans, lace up our sneakers, and show each other a little kindness.


Kindness is one of 14 key competencies taught in our Recruiting Immersion Training. Ready to explore the processes behind kinder recruiting? Curious about the other 13 competencies of successful recruiters? Our next Recruiting Immersion Training starts August 24th.

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