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 The Reliable People

In my last article, I was highlighting why recruitment in Germany might be harder than in other countries. However, as with all things, the situation is not as clear as it might seem and there are certain interesting characteristics most German candidates possess that might make the recruiting process easier than in other countries. ext As with all things, it is easiest to stick with clichés in the beginning, because some of them are actually partly true. Two true German clichés that make the whole process a whole lot easier are both punctuality and reliability. If you schedule a call with a German candidate, you can be up to 99% sure they will a) wait for your call and b) answer the phone. As for scheduled Skype conversations and interviews, you can rely on your German candidate to be there no matter what, possibly even ten minutes early. This is a fantastic characteristic for you as a recruiter who depends on the correct behavior of your candidate. At the same time, however, this includes an obligation. If you tell a German candidate you will call at 2pm, you should call at 2pm, otherwise there will be a first dent in the relationship.

 Be successful; stop dreaming

In 2011, the New York University psychologist Gabriele Oettingen published the results of an elegant study, conducted with her colleague, Heather Kappes, in which participants were deprived of water. Some of these parched volunteers were then taken through a guided visualisation exercise, in which they were asked to picture an icy glass of water, the very thing they presumably craved. Afterwards, by measuring everyone’s blood pressure, Oettingen discovered that the exercise had drained people’s energy levels, and made them relax. The implication is startling: picturing an imaginary glass of water might make people less motivated to get up and head to the watercooler or the tap in order to quench their real, non-imaginary thirst. This conclusion is precisely the reverse of one of the central tenets of pop psychology: the idea that picturing the future you desire makes it more likely you’ll attain it. Again and again, in her research, Oettingen has shown that making a fantasy of something you want can make it harder to achieve in reality. Imagine yourself having a productive week, and you’ll accomplish less. Imagine receiving a windfall of cash, and you’ll be less motivated to engage in the kinds of activities that might bring you money.

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