The importance of being human in recruitment


I’ve just had the privilege of going through the recruitment process with a few very different organisations and the experience of each was very different.

I started to wonder if some companies really truly think about how they recruit and how this affects the type of individual they attract, hire and retain.

From the ease at which you can make any written application, through to the medium you choose for the first human contact (email, phone, video call) to how you keep candidates engaged and motivated throughout the process.

The very best experiences I had, and I’m very lucky to say the roles I were offered, kept in contact with me throughout, understood me as a person, my motivations and my personal life and family considerations.

They were clear to keep thoughts, objectives and the process steps transparent. Understanding that any recruitment needs to be mutually beneficial for both of us and I need to know how I will benefit the company and vice versa.

Some HR teams seem very process focused, “we need a [skill]”, here’s 5 CVs, lets do a few face to face interviews and get them in and straight onto the project. In that regard even if you get lucky and get someone with the right mindset as well as the the correct experience this might not be the most engaging start for them.

I’ve also observed how a sluggish process where decisions and stages seem to happen in batches and with long lead times become almost symptomatic of the culture and process of the organisation, a limited number who are available and can make decisions and perhaps too much process and governance to allow agility.

In the worst of these cases the bulk of the recruitment process was outsourced to an agency. It was many weeks before I got to speak to the actual managers within the organisation. Very little was done to introduce the company.

Think in this situation what does this say about your focus on getting the right people? why would an agency understand your culture and required mindset better than your actual teams? if you feel like you are simply jumping through hoops to be sifted you will quickly lose patience.

I am a big believer in an agile approach, bringing the teams into the recruitment process, these new team members are exactly that and it’s fundamental you get the right people with the right attitudes, behaviors and mindset.

Run recruitment as you would anything else, with focus, with honesty and transparency.

Engage teams in the process, be informative, ask candidates what they will do when they are in the role. Make interviews collaborative, ensure the recruitment process places importance on the values of your organisation, if teamwork, ownership and respect are important then test for them.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior…..


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