Taking risks is a stressful experience.
Taking risks means learning.
Taking risks can lead to failure.
Taking risks fosters innovation.
When we embrace a new challenge, we do not have full control. We have the fear of failure and being considered a failure. What can we do about it? We need to look for people who give us feedback, support us and empower us. Building a network of people who empower us is key. Empower us to risk. Empower us to try.
There are many recruiters and hiring managers who still evaluate candidates for their number of years of experience. What do I think? It is time to stop this practice. The real focus needs to be on the quality of the years of experience, not the quantity.
One year of experience in a company is different from one year into another one. There are companies that give visibility and autonomy to their employees; other organisations do not. There are companies which constantly innovate and other companies do not. We need to evaluate the quality of the years of experience considering the better fit for our organisation. The amount of years of experience is a wrong perspective on talent, potential and core capabilities.
You can hear about digital transformation and innovation everywhere. Transformation and innovation: from the virtual reality to the blockchain technology, through the automation of processes. The digital transformation is a philosophical and technical movement that influences businesses, departments and teams… including HR. The technological innovation, the new methods of collaboration and ways of doing are at the centre of this change.
We need to talk about the change. Choosing an innovative technology does not equal starting an innovation/transformation change. To understand what you need to change or work on, you need to understand your values. The values are not the ones that were present at the creation of your organisation or your team. If you do not understand what are the current values and the current way of doing things, the change will never happen. Relying on rewriting values and creating power point presentations on the corporate mission does not mean working on change.
Recruiters are often considered as the dark side of the process. It’s true that there are times when we do well and other times when we do not.
One aspect that is fundamental to our role is giving feedback. There is a lot of discussion around feedback and the importance to give and receive it. Feedback should not only be the conclusion of the recruiting process; giving feedback is a dynamic and constant exercise during the whole recruiting process.
One of the secrets of being a good recruiter is following your candidates during the recruiting process. The feedback can be related to the format of the candidate’s resume, the way of presenting or the needed preparation for the interviews. Being a recruiter means being a point of contact, from the beginning to the end of a recruiting process and give constant feedback. If feedback is a real gift, it has to help the growth and career development also for the candidates in a selection process. Even the ones that won’t be hired.
You often hear about the importance of the candidate experience. The candidate experience refers to the dynamics related to the candidate’s journey during a recruiting process; the “journey” involves a few actors (interviewers, recruiter) and interactions (the steps of the interview process, email exchanges etc..).
Many companies try to understand, analyse and talk about the emotional side of the candidate experience, considering the involvement of different actors (recruiters and candidates for example). In addition to that, they tend to associate the candidate experience with the customer experience; the latter is the result of actions or planned actions/interactions between a customer and a company. Do the candidates need to be considered customers? Yes, twice; they are using a service (= your recruiting process) and they are prospects or already customers for the service(s) your company provides to the market.
Is your company really treating candidates as customers? Or are they doing just an emotions check? There is much more than the emotional side when we talk about the candidate experience. Does your company assess the points of contacts with the candidates (social media, company website, news etc), their tone of voice and the quality of the interactions? If not, they should start looking at the complete candidate journey and not only at the emotional experience.
I often write about the importance of collaboration. It has been said that companies should invest and have invested in technology, projects and programs (for example team building or mentorship) to improve collaboration between and within teams. Technology has changed the way we collaborate and exchange information. Conference calls and emails have completely revolutionised our way of working.
There is an aspect of your work that remains isolated and you should keep it isolated and personal.
What is it? Your career management. Receiving advice from colleagues or your manager is clearly important; however, your career path definition needs to be a personal investment and you cannot rely on collaboration. Managing your career path does not mean undermining colleagues or diminishing other people successes. Managing your career means creating your own path with your efforts. Take risks, join new teams, have different experiences and think about these experiences.
We can exchange and receive information in real-time; this dynamic and multiple sources’ network boosts innovation, knowledge sharing and relationships’ building.
The organisations have to embrace this revolution and their efforts are focused on (virtual) collaboration and cooperation. The results of this revolution brought also the organisations to be more open: they have opened their doors to the external world. For example, the recruiting function has been affected by this cultural change; think about LinkedIn, the meetups and Glassdoor. You can search about the company using different media and get to know better the company culture. If you want to reach out a recruiter, it is super easy.
So, why are you using Facebook? Why would you contact a recruiter via Facebook? Why would you move a contact from the professional level to the personal one? A recruiter might decide to do not answer a message. Additionally, your message might not show up because it has gone to the “spam folder”. So, I would not do it…and if you ask, the recruiters should not use Facebook to find candidates for the same reasons.
I hope that you’re ready to start the new week.
There will be new candidates to be interviewed, feedback to be delivered and you will surely have to organise (or reorganise) one or more recruiting processes.
You have to remember that your relationship with the hiring manager is very important. You have to work on it, you have to listen and you have to understand the recruitment needs; however, do not forget to have opinions. Being available and responsive with a manager does not mean always that you need to agree with her/him. If you do so, well, apart from creating problems in the recruiting process itself, you will always be considered as a support and never as a partner. A recruiting process is only successful if there is a true collaboration between the recruiter and the hiring manager. Remember that having opinions is a good thing; a recruiter without personality or opinions will be always an average recruiter.
Finally, what is the worst thing to tell to your hiring manager? This role is difficult.
What would the answer to the question if I was the manager? Well, what are you doing here then?
As a recruiter you know that you are providing a service; you have the mission of delivering a great service to your customers. Your customers are not only external ones (the candidates) but you have also internal clients (the business leaders and your team for example). However, the usual recruiter’s approach is focused only on the candidate experience. The candidate experience is the result of the interactions between the candidate and who is providing the service (the recruiter and/ or the interviewers). As it happens with other services, the attention to the details is fundamental to reach a good level of customer satisfaction. For example, the recruiter needs to provide a close support during the recruiting process, needs to be responsive and give to the candidates punctual and detailed feedback.
As mentioned before, we must not forget who is providing the service; in this case, the recruiters and the interviewers. The candidates have surely their priorities and their needs; the business stakeholders (who are interviewers in this case) have them too. Providing a good service is linked to an old rule; no, the rule is not “the customer is always right”, because it is not true. The old rule is treating other people like you’d like to be treated and understand the importance of a request. A request can come from the business or the candidate; as recruiter, you need to evaluate what is the most important one in that specific moment; it is not always the case that is the candidate’s one. It is just common sense approach based on mutual respect and prioritisation. The respect for the candidates, the interviewers, their commitments, their time, the recruiting needs and the respect of your time and priorities as recruiter are just a few things that you need to consider. It is true that the candidates choose a company also for what they have seen during a recruiting process; however, as recruiter, you need to remind yourself that a recruiting process is not only about the candidates.
We often think that a great presenter is the one who always uses a specialised and technical language. On the contrary, when we use simple words we think that we are showing a lack of knowledge.
In order to impress the audience, we tend to overcomplicate our way of presenting. I did it too, of course. We want to impress the audience and we want to be perceived as subject matter experts. Are we sure that it is the right approach?
When we feel that we are losing the attention of the audience, we change our strategy. Completely. How? We try to simplify our messages using examples and speaking slowly. We need to keep in mind that when we explain a process, we present slides or when we are just telling a story we are appreciated only if understood.
When I interview candidates, it often happens that they try to impress. However, the result is not always great. Being specific and giving details is clearly good. Extremely good. Unfortunately, when we are under emotional and time pressure, we risk losing our focus. In these cases, the answers result too complicated and full of not relevant details. Answering in a simple way is often much more effective.
It is often said: less is more.