As a recruiter, one of the most frustrating elements in matching candidates to employers and employers to candidates is the lack of empathy each has for the other. For example, in a difficult job market, the candidate has to understand what the potential employer needs from them and adequately demonstrate that they can fulfill those needs. But if the employer doesn’t also consider the needs of the candidate the chances of the match working in the long term are reduced. Likewise, in a job market where qualified candidates are a rare commodity, it might be tempting for the candidate to come into the interview with the attitude of “what can you do for me” but they really won’t get to understand the scope of the job unless they find out what the potential employer needs from them. Like any kind of relationship, it takes work on both sides to make it successful. Lack of empathy on either side can lead to resentment, bad performance and unrealistic expectations. On the other hand, if both sides empathize with each other there is understanding and respect which leads to a much better, longer relationship. It’s even possible to forgive a boss who shouts and yells, if you understand the stresses that bring them to that point and don’t take it personally. Of course, the boss also needs to realize what impact their behavior has on others in the office and be willing to apologize when the heat of the moment has passed. How important do you think empathy is in your work environment?