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Can interviews effectively judge whether a person has caring and compassionate values?

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24 March, 2014

Corder K et al (2014) How to recruit caring and compassionate HCAs. Nursing Times; 110: 13, 20-22.

Abstract

“Heathcare organisations are faced with the challenge of recruiting staff who have caring and compassionate values, so need to ensure these can be identified at interview. We piloted multiple mini-interviews as a possible solution to recruiting healthcare assistants. This article outlines how these were implemented and highlights some of the pitfalls of using this approach. Although the work has not been evaluated formally we decided to share our early experiences of using this approach so others can learn from our practice.”

 

What do you think?

  • Can interviews effectively judge whether a person has caring and compassionate values?
  • What alternative recruitment methods have you found work well?
  • Can healthcare workers be trained to be compassionate?

Readers' comments (16)

  • I dont believe anyone can be trained to be caring and compassionate. Care and compassion is intrinsic, it cant be taught.

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  • i do believe in care,in compassion ...but redention is in the pack too.

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  • Anonymous | 25-Mar-2014 2:28 pm

    I believe you can nurture compassion and care in students if the student is open to it but unfortunately it can be diminished more quickly and easily in a culture of staff shortage, ignorance and no leaders/role models.

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  • I wonder whether you can have compassion and lose it due to the environment and circumstances or whether if you have it in the first place and it is innate it can just lie dormant.

    Buddhists apparently believe everybody has compassion at birth and it is developed or suppressed during upbringing according to circumstances and needs to be developed and brought to the surface. not a very eloquent explanation but that is the gist I gathered from a brief conversation with a practicing Buddhist on the subject and which seems plausible and which in any case is their belief and practice through meditation, and I believe an interesting and important theme which merits further exploration.

    I plan on reading Paul Gilbert's book "The Compassionate Mind" which is apparently one of the most authoritative books on the subject and perhaps also refers to the Buddhist theories and practices.

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  • I think caring and compassionate values may be seen if the interviewer asks the right questions in the right way. To some extent interviews are 'false' but if you put the person at ease, then you are more likely to see the 'real them'. Perhaps employers and universities need some extended skills at interveiwing to make it work.

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  • It is now predicted that as brain scanners become cheaper and are available in most universities they could be used in the future to scan the brains of job seekers to determine which careers they are most suited to. The University of California have identified different talents corresponding to different areas of the brain which predominate in different individuals Could empathy also be detected by this method?

    Andy Habermacher, Luzern Switzerland is expert in Neuro-Leadership.

    article in German

    http://www.blick.ch/news/schweiz/stellenbewerber-zum-hirn-scan-id2753947.html

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  • I'd just spent 9 years in the RAF Regiment as an infantryman when I went for my first care interview.......tattoo's....broken nose......busted knuckles.....do not know what made me attend interview or turn up for the first day......and I've been qualified for a decade now....

    I think care and compassion are innate......given the right circumstances they will appear

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  • Anonymous | 27-Mar-2014 11:12 am

    obviously an enlightened interviewer who managed to see beyond all of the trappings! A gain to the profession and the patients I would imagine!

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 26-Mar-2014 8:33 pm

    Perhaps - but all of the science-fiction writers back in the 1950s, in their 'predictive pieces', predicted 'flying cars to travel to work in' by about 1980: never happened, did it. Nobody ever seems to have predicted mobile phones and, more to the point, 'social media'.

    And I'm not sure, even if it could be done, how many people would be willing to 'have their psyche measured' in that way, anyhow ?

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  • tinkerbell

    I once interviewed a guy who gave all the right answers, appeared keen, motivated, compassionate & passionate. He could have charmed the birds out of the trees. He got the job and turned out to be a sadist, emotionally abusing patients, taunting them and splitting the whole team. He eventually along with some other cronies brought the whole unit down.

    I still believe by asking the right questions about attitudes/morals/ethics can help but there will always be a few that manage to slip through the net and although it will never be fool proof thank God they are the minority.

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  • michael stone | 27-Mar-2014 2:37 pm

    Anonymous | 26-Mar-2014 8:33 pm

    well Huxley, Orwell and others seem to have been and still are fairly near the mark.

    However, with brain scanning people would have to be willing and there would be enormous ethical obstacles to overcome when it came to employment. This is one of the reasons why much brain research is so slow and often restricted to mice and other lab animals (despite the many objections) and which is limited when applied to the functions of the human brain. dead human brains are not always of much help as scientists need to study their activities under certain conditions and one cannot obviously examine the living ones as much as scientists would like as it would also mean opening them up for a peep inside, although fMRIs are becoming more and more sophisticated, readily available and cheaper.

    I don't think it is impossible though, as suggested by the above research, that people would be willing to undergo a non-invasive scan as the techniques become more advanced and accessible to see what career they might be best suited for. The findings and the recording of data and its protection would of course be paramount to prevent its abuse and from falling into the wrong hands!

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  • According to the Mail today we cannot even tell if people are able to speak English at interview, never mind finding out if they are compassionate and caring!
    As for measuring these qualities, they are very subjective. Many Mail readers would think Hitler a compassionate man because he loved his dog and Blair a despot for introducing a minimum wage ( and setting fire to Iraq)!

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  • tinkerbell

    most mail readers appear to have a deep affection for the word 'vile' I've noticed.

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  • michael stone

    redpaddys12 | 28-Mar-2014 4:03 am

    tinkerbell | 28-Mar-2014 8:08 am

    Come to think of it, mention of The Mail on these forums recently has been minimal, unless I've missed that - strange.

    Are we sure that Hilter loved his dog ? He was a politician (of sorts), after all - what we 'see in public' and reality, can be very different, with politicians.

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  • Question:
    Can interviews effectively judge whether a person has caring and compassionate values?

    Answer:
    No

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  • can a book be judged by its cover?

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