May 29, 2018

7 Important Things Recruiters Can Learn From Social Workers


Employees’ priorities are shifting. Gone are the days when workers chose new jobs based on remuneration, rewards, working conditions, and promotion opportunities. Today’s job seekers certainly don’t ignore those aspects, but recent research shows “meaningfulness is more important to employees than any other aspect of their jobs,” according to Open Colleges. A new workforce that highly values meaningful professions and employers that share their beliefs is quickly redefining employee satisfaction.

To keep up with this transformation, recruiters need to understand what the expectations of these new workers are. Once recruiters have identified the values of their target candidates, they need to weave those values into new job openings.

To help in this endeavor, recruiters should pay special attention to social workers.

Social workers perform meaningful jobs that provide them with both personal satisfaction and professional rewards. Social workers feel the jobs they do align with their broader personal purposes, and this is exactly what many people entering the labor market are looking for.

Here are seven things that all recruiters should learn from social workers:

1. Focus on Values

Recruiters need to have a deep understanding of their clients’ values and company cultures so they can find candidates who really fit in. To find the right applicants, recruiters will have to effectively communicate the company’s values in their job descriptions and focus on contenders who hold similar sets of principles.

2. The Power of Empathy

Empathy is particularly important for social workers and can help them achieve better professional outcomes. Empathy is an important skill for recruiters too. Having empathy for a job candidate can help you understand the emotions behind their application. Empathy can also help you reach the right decisions for your clients and more effectively pair candidates with the right companies.

3. Respect for Diversity

Social workers often work with people from all walks of life, so it is absolutely crucial for them to be respectful and open-minded. Hiring professionals should have the same attitude, as they, too, will encounter candidates from a variety of backgrounds.

4. Continous Learning

Social workers are continuously learning new skills and following the latest research to stay current in their fields. Recruiters must do the same, staying up to date with employment trends and new recruiting techniques in order to attract the very best talent.

5. Passion for Work

Another characteristic of social workers is their passion for what they do. Connecting professional success with personal satisfaction, social workers are always willing to go the extra mile and work hard to achieve their objectives.

Recruiters’ targets can sometimes be difficult to hit. When hiring professionals are feeling demotivated, they should learn from social workers how to use their passion to keep moving toward the goal.

6. Trustworthiness Is Key

Social workers need to be trustworthy, because people are more likely to open up to those whom they feel they can trust. Recruiters also need to earn the confidence of clients and candidates. In order to become more trustworthy, recruiters should cultivate transparency, honesty, reliability, and professionalism in all they do.

7. Patience Is a Virtue

Recruiters need to understand that some hiring processes can be quite long, especially when working with large corporations where the recruitment process can involve multiple phases and many moving parts. Recruiters also need patience to handle client and candidate demands with level heads.

Overall, social workers and recruiters have many things in common. Some traits, skills, and values common to social workers can also be very helpful for recruiters. Recruiters who take the seven lessons above to heart will be better equipped to bring candidates and clients together in perfect fits that work for every stakeholder.

Maria Onzain is a digital marketing expert for Open Colleges.

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Maria Onzain is a content marketing expert for Open Colleges, where she writes about about career, education, EdTech, and life hacks. She is passionate about all things digital and loves social media, startups, traveling, and good food.