It’s time to make recruitment more human


We hear the term “making the workplace more human” so when we are putting this into practice, why do we insist on using the same old recruitment processes?

After Thursday’s thought provoking HR Hour on Twitter, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight the HR world’s thoughts on how we can improve the process and really make it relevant to the changing world of work.

Every manager dreads asking competency based interview questions “Tell me about a time when…” these questions are rigid, artificial and if candidates googled the ideal answers to these standard questions, they’ll be able to get well-structured answers to put them in the best light and the hiring manager will be none the wiser, thinking that they’d found the ideal candidate.

The downside to this is that once the candidate has their feet under the table, they could struggle within the role and find themselves in a performance management process or even failing to pass their probationary period. This leaves the hiring manager with one less employee, a lot of wasted time and questioning where it all went wrong.

Gary Cookson (@Gary_Cookson) summed this up perfectly during HR Hour by tweeting “Shouldn’t that be “tell me about a time when you improved the recruitment process. What did you do and what was the outcome?”

To avoid this and to obtain the best talent, the solution is simple, make the recruitment process more human.

What we mean by this is improving the candidate experience by changing our mind set to reflect, we should be treating candidates as we would our customers. Ensuing that recruiters have open and honest interactions with candidates and improving response times to CV submissions and interview process outcomes can really put your business ahead of those who send out standard responses. If a candidate is unsuccessful, provide accurate feedback so that the candidate has an opportunity to reflect and make improvements for the next role they apply for. These are basic things that we can all do if we take the time and care about the impression we give to the candidate driven job market, it can really set you aside as an employer of choice.

Sarah (@HocusPocusPlop) put this beautifully “The only way to truly differentiate from your competitor is to be you and your colleagues: the unique and individual. That interaction is what can attract a candidate, build loyalty and make or break a recruiting system”.

Organisations shouldn’t keep relying on the same ways of recruiting, it needs to be acknowledged that recruitment works both ways; act too quickly and run the risk of hiring the wrong person, wait too long and there’s a risk that you’ll keep the perfect candidate waiting too long so getting the balance right is essential.

Gail Evans (@HRBloggerGail) stated “remind organisations that it is a two-way process and maybe rethink if it really takes 3/4 rounds of interviews to get the new hire? Get the right people in the right room”.

So what are the right ways of recruiting?

David Perks (@Feedback Dave) thinks that the answer lies within being proactive with strategic recruitment plans; he says “I have not advertised positions for the last 6/7 people I’ve hired. Find passive candidates (via LinkedIn and Networking) and have a conversation with them. If there’s a fit, progress it. Availability is not a skillset”.

I agree with the benefits of having a network to turn to, there is value within generating connections and getting to know people, by doing this, you are gaining an idea of who you are recruiting and what they can offer your organisation. This is a far better approach than asking them irrelevant questions about themselves or delving into what course they studied at college over ten years ago.

Keep it relevant to the job role, if it’s teamwork you are looking for, get the candidate to demonstrate this skill by getting them working in a team to produce a relevant piece of work. Let them show off their capabilities.

Microsoft use this exact method to recruit software engineers at their site in California, the candidates they select can have disabilities and many have autism. Every time they recruit, they adjust the process (albeit the basis stays the same) they adjust it to the individuals needs in order to get the best from the candidate, so they are able to comfortably demonstrate their capabilities.

I will leave you with this tweet from Rob Baker (@BakerRJM) as I think it summarises how the process should be “I would like people to view recruitment as if they are buying a semi tailored suit. The main duties are there, but the precise nature of the role is “tailored” based on an individual’s strengths passions and interests”.


2 thoughts on “It’s time to make recruitment more human

Leave a Reply to Natalie Ellis Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s