Suppressing People: An Unpopular Opinion

by | Oct 18, 2023

A post about people suppressing people.

How sad to have to write. I felt sad writing it. I wasn’t even going to write an article this week. Honestly, I’m more interested in finishing my memoir, The Damage of Words, because I am so close to being done, and it will help so many people. But then I got angry, upset, and heartbroken… so a rant, with a super annoying title, because I know this won’t go down well with some.

Looking nationally and globally this past week, I see innocent lives being destroyed and people being suppressed by other people. Growing up with a narcissistic abusive mother, where my reality was distorted, and I either spoke up and wasn’t heard or couldn’t speak up, what’s happening is hitting my values.

We are not seeing the truth.

But there’s something else that’s happening that’s bothering me more than man-made cataclysm, corrupt governments, misery-selling bigoted press, and hate-spreading social media. It’s people’s lack of curiosity to dig deeper and find the truth. To look thoroughly at both sides of any confronting scenario.

So while I cannot fix the tragedies I see unfolding for innocent people worldwide, people’s voices suppressed in a referendum result that fills me with shame, or the Tories using transphobia to deflect from their corruption, I can use this platform to speak to recruiters and TA pros.

So the unpopular opinion about suppressing people

This may be a bitter pill to swallow, but every day through our micro-actions, people are suppressed. People with hopes and dreams for their careers and livelihoods.

Every time we start a candidate search from a bad intake or reject someone for a poorly written CV, we are suppressing people.

Every time we reject someone with a gap or believe that passive beats active candidates, we are suppressing people.

Every time we allow a hiring manager to pass on someone because of their age, class, education, nationality, disability, gender, sexuality and every other lame excuse they give to reject a qualified applicant, we are suppressing people.

Every time we don’t push back or are not curious about our own reactions, inaction, biases or phobias, we are suppressing people by not giving them the opportunity to interview and secure a job with your company or client.

I am not a bias expert (though I am on a panel with one at 5 pm UK today, October 18, thanks to Hired!), but I know that before I healed my childhood trauma, I used to sit in judgment of people. If I am as honest here as I am in my memoir, I mirrored my mother’s vile bigotry while I was full of self-hate. I didn’t even know I was doing it.

Recruiters regularly share with me that they are perfectionists or people-pleasers, so I know that there is a self-worth issue across many in our profession. The trouble is it is easy to make snap judgmental decisions about others when we don’t like who we are or to let something slide when we are too scared to stand up for what’s right. Low self-worth fuels that, consciously or unconsciously.

For those of you curious enough to read my memoir, by healing and becoming full of self-love, kindness and, especially, compassion, I now base my dislike of people solely on their behaviour.

I ask you to do the same – base your decision on behaviour, not -isms and biases.

Get curious about your reactions to an applicant or candidate.

Push back on managers who display -isms and phobias, even if that scares you.

If you don’t, this micro-action is suppressing people. I know that’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s the truth.

I cannot fix the world, but hopefully, I can inspire a few readers to be curious about themselves and their managers because recruiters play with people’s lives and livelihoods every single day.



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