Whole-Person Hiring: Essential Tips for Recruiters and Hiring Managers
How can you tell if you’re hiring the right person for the long haul? According to Sarah Keady, Global CoE Director at Resource Solutions, it’s crucial to look beyond a candidate's CV and remember you’re hiring the whole person.
In whole-person hiring, you explore everything that a person brings to work — personality, culture, experience, dreams — and see how each of those factors can contribute to your organization. Organizations can find great success by establishing and nurturing relationships with potential new hires. And with today’s intelligent automation and hyper-personalized experiences, it’s more than possible. It’s expected.
Below, explore Keady’s insights on how recruiters and hiring managers can build impactful relationships that turn more candidates and applicants into thriving employees.
Related Download: The State of Recruiter & Hiring Manager Collaboration Report
Building Relationships: It Takes… Three?
When it comes to the hiring process, yes – there are three people involved. There’s the candidate, of course, plus the recruiter and the hiring manager working together. “I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that these two individuals collaborate when identifying talent,” Keady said.
Keady shared some tips for how recruiters and hiring managers can combine efforts to ensure a whole-person approach to hiring.
Tips for Recruiters
1. Set clear expectations
Your career site can be a great first look at your employer brand and what it’s like to work at your company — especially if it’s full of authentic employee content, testimonials, and video job descriptions. But it’s important that job seekers’ interactions with recruiters back up their digital experience.
Recruiters need to have a strong grasp of critical aspects of the role, ranging from the organization’s stance on work-life balance to new product lines and operating strategies. “Remember, recruiters are your voice out to the market,” Keady said. “It’s so important to have that level of detail, so they can make the sale.”
Have an open dialogue with candidates regarding:
- Role requirements
- Company culture
- Company ethics
2. Aim to reduce unconscious bias
It’s easy for unwanted social bias to sneak into the recruiting process — especially if there’s no visibility into potential issues. Keady’s advice?
- Be open to varied skills and experience
- Don’t judge a candidate by their CV alone
- Ask for candidate achievements
“Some of the best people I’ve interviewed don’t have the most impressive CVs,” she said. Using an achievement-focused technique can help remove bias that may arise when a candidate’s CV keywords, education, or experience don’t stand out. Recruiters should ask the candidate to list key achievements they’ve accomplished in a critical area.
3. Be honest with candidates
Nobody wants a bait and switch. Transparency is paramount in the recruiting and hiring process — especially if you want to retain top talent.
- Set clear timing expectations
- Make sure they understand your hiring process
- Discuss potential start dates
Keep in mind that miscommunication can alienate passive talent instead of fostering a potential hire down the line: “Not everyone is looking for something now,” Keady observed. But with the right tools, recruiters can nurture these talent segments with hyper-relevant automated campaigns that keep your company top of mind.
Tips for Hiring Managers
Keady’s tips for hiring managers align closely with her advice for recruiters.
1. Ensure quality talent isn’t overlooked
Hiring managers play an important role in making sure quality talent isn’t overlooked in the screening process. In addition to leveraging AI-powered assessment tools that can qualify candidates faster, optimize team collaboration, and apply an equitable approach to screening candidates at scale, hiring managers that follow these best practices will expand their talent pools with relevant possibilities.
- Be open-minded
- Don’t get caught up on keywords and colleges
- Ask recruiters to address red flags on resumes by following up on candidates rather than immediately dismissing them
“If you’re not giving someone the opportunity to even reach the interview because something on the CV doesn’t jump out, go back to the recruiter. Ask them to include more probing questions of the candidate,” Keady said.
2. Focus on the candidate experience
The candidate experience doesn’t start and stop on your career site. It’s an ongoing journey that hopefully evolves into an equally compelling employee experience.
To differentiate your brand, consider the touchpoints job seekers have with your team and optimize where you can:
- Simplify the application process
- Reduce time to screen resumes
- Decrease time to schedule interviews
- Make time to prepare before the interview
“We all know these processes are time-sensitive. As a hiring manager, I want to optimize that time with the candidate to make sure we’re having constructive dialog,” Keady said. Being organized and prepared for the interview is just as critical for interviewers as interviewees.
Easier said than done? Not for companies who are leveraging AI and automation to enhance the process and experience and creating more time for their recruiters.
Available Now: 2022 State of Candidate Experience Report
3. Build personal connections and sell the job
According to Keady, the hiring manager has equal responsibility with the recruiter to “sell” the job throughout the hiring process — and relationships are key to making a “sale”. These quick tips can help close the deal:
- Prepare ahead of time. Do your homework and identify traits and relatable points that will foster a deeper connection with the candidate.
- Turn on your camera during virtual interviews. A candidate’s body language and expressions communicate volumes about their personality and potential team fit. This goes both ways — candidates can get a real-time glimpse of workplace culture.
- Be honest. Credibility goes a long way. Transparency shows job seekers that you care more about what’s best for them and the rest of the team than simply saying what you think they want to hear.
- Share how candidates can make an impact. Reveal your team’s purpose and goals, and then provide examples of how the candidate would contribute. “That, for me, is the biggest sale — showing that they’re part of something much bigger,” Keady said.
When recruiters and organizations consider exploring the whole candidate in their hiring decisions, it leads to richer and more fulfilling conversations.
Keady offered these final takeaways:
- Be clear about the role. What will it bring to the organization?
- Clearly communicate expectations. If the process is slow or internal hurdles are likely, tell the candidate and send thoughtful follow-up communications.
- Put candidate experience front and center. Would you be wowed by the recruiting and hiring process at your company? That’s usually a good barometer.
“Make sure that you’re being cognizant of your behaviors and the information you’re feeding out there,” Keady concluded. “It’s a small world.” And news travels fast.
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