Simply put, resilience is one’s ability to adapt and bounce back when things don't go as planned. Resilient people don't wallow or dwell on failures; they acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes, and move forward. With this in mind, resilience should absolutely be a factor in your recruitment process, but the good news is that it isn’t a fixed trait and therefore, whilst it is important for you to attract employees who can deal with unexpected challenges or pressures at work, resilience can be nurtured with the right support. If you have a culture of ‘team spirit’, those with less inherent resilience will naturally adapt and learn to be more resilient, with time. Without the right culture, even the most resilient of characters won’t last forever!
Most interviews include competency-based questioning and therefore it shouldn’t be a surprise for candidates to think about challenging situations or past experiences where resilience has enabled them to learn or enhance their strength of character and ability to deal with setbacks. Examples of questions you can incorporate into your interview process include:
What has been one of your biggest challenges in a previous role and how did you deal with?
Describe a time when something didn’t work out as planned. What did you do / what did you learn from it?
Tell me about a time when you worked with someone you didn’t agree with.
How would you respond if you received negative feedback from your manager?
Remember that the interview process is resilience building in itself. With current economic challenges, unexpected redundancies or the threat thereof, many candidates are now involuntarily having to look for new positions. Whilst some companies may not have experienced the same negative impact resulting from Covid-19, the chances are that the candidates you interview now, will have faced unforeseen challenges directly / indirectly and in doing so, are already building resilience by being present and prepared for an interview. You may therefore find that you get to know a candidate’s true sense of resilience, by starting the already stressful interview process, with an informal ‘get to know you’ chat.
I would be happy to have a chat about your requirements or help you define your interview process or search focus. Having worked with many companies, contacts and industry sectors over the past 16 years, I have successfully helped candidates identify their strengths (and weaknesses) and help them to be more prepared and resilient in their recruitment journey, as well as working closely with companies to understand their hiring needs, offer advice on the candidate market and support them through the interview process to connect them with the ideal candidates.
I will leave you with this thought....people are not the only ones that need to be resilient. The recruitment process needs to be resilient too...just when you think you have it nailed, something changes and just like that, you are having to redefine or adapt once again.