A Resourcing Expert I admire sharing a cartoon on LinkedIn is what got me thinking and reading about Psychological Safety at work this week. This is often framed as an essential way to promote effective collaboration: “truly making a team come together as one and putting forth an environment that sets up everyone for success.”
However, this is not just a matter for employee experience and workplace culture. What about the pre-workplace culture? It strikes me that many of the negative impacts of the absence of psychological safety in the workplace are amplified in recruitment experiences. Applying for a job seems an obvious example of taking an interpersonal risk. Candidates deserve the same level of support as employees; after all, unless your search is poor at least one of them is your next colleague right?
The best recruiting organisations, and the best Recruiters, put effort in to establishing open communication, sharing information, providing appropriate guidance, building confidence and even encouraging risk-taking in candidates. Seeking feedback on candidate experience – providing a platform for applicants to have their voice heard, and the space to share their thoughts – supports this too. These are all strategic focuses that an RPO partnership can deliver.
If a talented candidate does not feel psychologically safe during an application, assessment, interview or any interaction with a recruiting team what is the result? An inability to express themselves, and their talents fully. When that talent is blocked, or overlooked, who is at fault? The candidate, or the designers and deliverers of a recruitment experience that failed to consider psychological safety?
“No one wants to leave part of their personality and inner life at home. But to be fully present at work, to feel “psychologically safe,” we must know that we can be free enough, sometimes, to share the things that scare us without fear of recriminations."