I have always wondered about the “process” aspect of hiring. How does the process aspect relate to the “human” aspect. Or are both just the same?
In most cases applicants go through a standard process. This process consists of various phases, like a few interviews (with HR, with the future hierarchy) and an assessment. During this process hiring recruiters use certain methodologies, like e.g. STAR or CBI. The approach is not always clear to the candidate. Ideally the candidate should get feedback about the conclusions.
It’s important to understand that this process creates convictions and emotions about “each other”. The mind and the heart work together. In my experience the heart makes the last call to hire/get hired or not.
I have nothing against these approaches. I think they offer tremendous added value. I do not immediately see many better alternatives.
Often you are looking for aspects like:
- the willingness to do the “extra mile” or go “through fires”.
- the profound feeling of belonging to the living body (metaphor for the team or organization).
- the capacity to outperform spontaneously without watching the clock.
I am not sure any standard hiring approach will give information on those aspects. I suggest an approach that builds a relationship that fosters performance and retention from the start. The way to do this is to add three simple human “informal” steps into the “formal” process: contact, connect, contract. I call this the triple C approach.
Triple C of Hiring: Contact – Connect – Contract
The very first contacts are critical. This is regardless of the used hiring channel. The first contact creates first impressions in both directions. High quality personal contacts (in mails, over the phone) and follow-up are crucial. If something goes wrong in this phase, it’s unlikely you will ever get to the next phase.
In my experience this the most essential and critical phase. Slowly but surely me (candidate) and them (employer), become us. The chemistry enables early collaboration before the signing of the contract. The candidate starts thinking for the company and can imagine being a part of it.
In this phase the hiring manager makes considerations about both competencies and fit. He or she is more competent, but with him or her there’s a better “fit”. More personal reflections get the upper hand. Formal processes and objective recruitment criteria seem to wane. This creates the basis for trust, engagement, the extra mile, excellent integration and even retention.
The team and organization become willing to adapt to the new colleague. The team is willing to accept the imperfect fit to the original job description. How do you know this? It’s when planned one hour meetings take two hours. When you get to meet more people than initially planned. When this happens you and the body of the organization start to merge.
If all goes excellently here (not just “good), there’s a big chance for a contract offer.
This is just a formality if the contact and connect phase were as excellent as described. Of course salary and other conditions are important (remember when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys). But they will never have the same impact as the human connection established in an early phases.
Process + Humanity
The triple C approach adds humanity to formality. If you want to engage people from the very start, you need to allow for human interaction and considerations.