Recruitment: humanity trumps rigidity, every time!

6 February 2020



We need to reinvent recruitment. Companies are changing, organizational structures are flattening, advances in technology keep multiplying, and new talent is emerging. So, what does that mean for the hiring process? Despite many employers struggling to fill roles, traditional methods are still not being questioned. What are we waiting for?

A more human approach to recruitment

Since 2017, I’ve observed employers for whom hiring is easy. I noticed that they put people first. Their practices have remained focused on evaluating personality, skills and diplomas. For them, job interviews consist of providing a pleasant experience while informing candidates about the company’s culture, values ​​and management. The companies in question have adapted their methods, allowing them to:

1. See past know-how

Emotional intelligence, creativity and problem solving are skills of the future, and today, seeing their value is more beneficial than ever. Thus, they should be considered during the candidate evaluation process. Some employers have decided to shift their process by letting go of rigid criteria and being more open to unconventional methods.

In her Harvard Business Review article, Silicon Valley author and speaker, Nilofer Merchant, says to stop eliminating good candidates with bad questions. According to her, companies have a lot to gain from looking beyond know-how, by targeting skills rather than past work experience. Instead of asking: have you ever accomplished this task? She recommends asking: what would you do in this situation? The result: employers start to notice CVs that would otherwise be eliminated, and hire competent candidates who would not have met their traditional standards.

2. Find the right fit

Simon Sinek, renowned speaker and author of leadership books, is right: the why of the business is important. I would add that in recruitment, it’s crucial; the key element that attracts talent and helps recruit the right people for your business. In fact, a large number of job seekers only apply to a position if they are inspired by the company’s raison d’être. The problem is that this information is rarely disclosed before the first day of work.Therefore, employers benefit from this information being present on their job postings and career page, and mentioned during the selection process. This will help them to attract candidates who adhere to their why and their company culture. According to The Hire Team at Google, when it comes to assessing the long-term success of a future candidate within the business, the fit is the most important thing to consider. These candidates stay in the company longer.

3. Test their compatibility

More than half the people who quit leave managers, not positions. According to the Kristof-Brown study, another aspect to consider is the fit between candidate and manager. An employee’s job satisfaction is highly influenced by the quality of the relationship with his immediate supervisor. Hiring managers should include interview questions to confirm potential compatibility between the supervisor and the candidate. For example, when I was a recruiter, I’d ask the candidates to describe their ideal boss and how they liked to be supervised. Often they would reply, “a good boss is someone who listens, communicates well, and respects me.” Others told me that they preferred to have more autonomy and little managerial support. This approach was highly beneficial and effective for the company, the manager, and the future employee!

It’s all about balance

The job search is changing. And, it’s about time we adapt our recruitment practices, because the labour market is evolving. According to the Indeed 2020 survey (in French only), one in three employees are willing to take a wage cut, if it means being happier at work. That said, I urge employers to adopt more inclusive practices that will help their business grow, and contribute to the career development of workers. I believe that achieving this balance will be our greatest accomplishment in talent acquisition.

About the author

Jenny Ouellette

About Jenny Ouellette

Founder of BonBoss

Jenny is the founder of Inc., a company that aims to change the workplace, one good boss at a time. With a bachelor's degree in industrial relations, she began her career in human resources management before starting a life as a content marketing entrepreneur. Her unusual career path has led her to develop a unique expertise and vision for the future of recruitment and management.