Leadership in recruiting – why Compassion & Creativity are Essential to find the #leaders4tomorrow

by Manto Antoniotti Solares in — August 2023

Leadership is a topic that has fascinated people for centuries. It has been defined in countless ways, and its interpretation has evolved over time. However, one thing is clear: leadership is an essential ingredient for success in any field, whether it's in business, politics, or any other area of life.

And in the Talentor world…certainly it is THE essential ingredient in a successful recruiting project. We’re leading clients through complex hiring decisions and we are many times thought after advisors for all questions around the process. We are able to give more insights than only answering the question: Why is it so hard to find talent in the market?

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We’re leading candidates from the first thought of maybe changing jobs, all through the interview process, getting an offer and discussing the offer at the dinner table at home, up to the first days at the new company.

We want to take a brief look into different interpretations of leadership, and what it might mean to you in your organization right now:

One interpretation of leadership is that it is the ability to influence others towards a common goal. This definition highlights the importance of communication and relationship building in leadership. Leaders must be able to articulate a vision that inspires others and then work collaboratively to achieve that vision.

However, another interpretation of leadership is that it is about serving others. This definition emphasizes the importance of humility and vulnerability in leadership. Leaders must be willing to admit their mistakes and learn from their failures, and they must be committed to putting the needs of others before their own.

Brene Brown paved the road and created a powerful track record of studying vulnerability in leadership. She says, ‘’Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations’’.

Magdalena Rogl recently wrote her book why we need emotions at our jobs. She plays with the word ‘MITgefühl’ which means in English ‘feeling with others, but more meaning that if we share emotions in an honest way at work as well it creates a safe space for others to also stop answering the typical question ‘how are you?’ with a blank ‘Ok, fine’, but rather in a more real way.’ Magdalena is the Head of Diversity & Inclusion for Microsoft Germany and connects her corporate experience with powerful examples of discovering how leading your own emotions and opening spaces for your team will certainly shape your leadership and create much deeper connections.

The Harvard Business Article "Connect with Empathy, but Lead with Compassion" inspired us to take a deeper look into compassionate leadership.

‘’Too much of empathy can be a problem, it might be weighing you down. So, when we tell leaders that, actually, they don’t have to take the difficulties of the people they lead onto themselves, this is a huge burden lifted off their shoulders. Instead of carrying that burden of empathy, you can learn to experience the uplifted experience of compassion.’’

The article also shares a straightforward definition of both words. Empathy means ‘I feel with you’, Compassion means ‘I am here to help you’. Empathy creates the connection with the other person. In recruiting, it is validating the pain of an open position, the long process of not finding the right candidate, the joy of then (finally) finding the talent we were looking for. Compassion is the commitment in the recruiting industry to form a team with the candidate and client, and to be there for both.

In the corporate context, the pandemic has also highlighted the importance of compassionate leadership. As people have struggled with the physical, emotional, and financial impacts of the pandemic, leaders who have shown empathy and compassion have been better able to support their team members and build a sense of resilience and hope.

The pandemic has brought about a shift in the perception of leadership. In the face of unprecedented challenges, leaders have been forced to adapt and innovate quickly. This has required a new level of flexibility and creativity, as well as a willingness to take risks and experiment with new approaches.

Creativity is one of the top #5 skills kids will need in future, researched the World Economic Forum. This brief video gives you a grasp of the key future skills and is a great reminder what skills we shall focus on to shape up in organizations, in schools and in learning & development programs:


In recruiting, it is not an asset to be creative and find new ways to engage with talented people who could be your candidate and or client at some point in life. It is your work. Successful recruiters have the ability to turn challenging problems into solutions, and find some joy along the process.

In the next time, we want to take you on a leadership deep dive with us. We’re interviewing outstanding leaders and personalities in our global executive search community on what they say is the differentiating leadership gold nugget in our industry. What do we see as leadership skills of the future when building high performing recruiting teams? How to connect empathy, compassion, time & space & high performance? How to juggle all responsibilities as a leader and find work-life integration? How to navigate one of the biggest crisis in some of our Talentor markets, and challenging Q1 in this year? Depending on topic.

Enjoy those insights into our community, and pieces of leadership wisdom from all parts of the world, from businesses at different growth stages and sailing through very different market conditions right now!

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Manto Antoniotti Solares

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