What recruiters can learn from this policeman's kind gesture

It doesn’t cost anything to be kind - a mantra that rings true even throughout the strategic business world.

And when a shoplifter was caught stealing new clothing for an upcoming job interview, a philanthropic Toronto police office put aside the sanctions and offered a helping hand.

Constable Niran Jeyanesan, was called to a Walmart in the city in response to a report of shoplifting, when he encountered an 18-year-old teenager attempting to steal a long-sleeved shirt, a tie and a pair of socks – Toronto Sun reports.

Jeyanesan was surprised at the items, which prompted him to find out more about the young male’s motive. The story he heard was of a young man in a time of crisis. His family had recently lost their home after his father fell ill, leaving him feeling under pressure to fill the financial void and provide for his parents and younger siblings.

He found out that the teen had secured a job interview for a “service industry position”, but did not have professional clothing to wear, and resorted to stealing out of desperation.

“He was very remorseful, very ashamed,” Jeyanesan said, “I could see that this is truly a mistake and this person wanted a chance at life. We try to get everybody’s story when we attend calls. Everyone has their own battles that they’re fighting. It doesn’t excuse them, but behind every action there’s a reason why this person is doing it.”

Before the police took the teen back to the station for questioning, Jeyanesan decided to offer a helping hand, buying the clothes the teen attempted to shoplift.

With three-quarters of recruiters less likely to hire a candidate if they turned up to an interview inappropriately dressed, according to research by Simon Jersey, this story proves the power of reflection.

Before jumping to conclusions about a candidate’s manner, past or appearance, encourage yourself to make decisions based on their ability to do the job.

With diversity quotas rising up the agenda at many businesses, putting aside your biases will pay dividends in beating both the inclusion and productivity problems lingering within organisations.

After all, remember, someone gave you a chance to enter the world of work – so why not pass on that benevolence and do the same?

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