Hiring Like a Human

By | May 26, 2015

As the labour market picks up we’re increasingly hearing from our customers that it’s getting harder to recruit the right kind of people for their business.  In the UK this is especially true of engineers, scientists and technically qualified people.  There’s too few to go around and those who are doing a great job are rarely in the job market looking for something new.

The great thing about scientists, engineers and technicians is that they are bright, they can do the maths on any job offer you make and will have factored in all the financial costs and benefits.   They’ll know how long the commute is, they’ll know what they want as a package and they’re usually pretty clear about what they want in terms of the type of work they will be doing and the management style they prefer.

It’s not hard for bright and motivated people to get a job, a good job, just like the one you might be offering.  Yet when we look at how people are going about their recruitment and selection processes we often find that this fact doesn’t feature.  The process, and the human interactions within it, sometimes more closely resemble the “X-Factor” or “[Insert your country’s name]”s Got Talent” than an attempt to win the hearts and minds of great potential employees.  They are designed to minimise the effort of the hiring business and maximise the opportunities to turn people away, as though there were an infinite pool of candidates to choose from.  This approach is neither efficient nor effective.  Anyone getting through is likely to be desperate for the role, rather than intrigued, enthused and motivated by the opportunity.

When talking to people about recruiting we hear “it’s OK for people like Google, Microsoft and Apple“, after all they have big names and benefits packages that are trumpeted by star struck HR and business journalists, yet there are far better employers out there, and we’ve met plenty of people who have left those tech giants for better careers elsewhere.  Coursera compete directly with Facebook and Google for employees and they do it very well, not by offering driverless buses, more exotic fruit or bigger pool tables, but by treating potential new employees as humans, humans who could be great for the company.

Even people who you choose not to employ can be a great asset to your organisation if they feel they’ve been treated well in the recruitment process.  We have clients who have made brilliant hires of people who have been recommended by applicants they have previously rejected, as well as people they’ve hired 18 months after first meeting them as they’ve made a great connection, but the timing wasn’t right.  For help with your recruitment and onboarding process, talk to us.

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