If we see someone struggling to cross a road, for example, most of us are falling over ourselves to help. However many of us lack this sense of empathy in our working lives, and I would argue this is particularly true in recruitment. Which got me thinking about how we got here, why it is so damaging for the industry, and how we can start to change it.
How we got into this mindset is quite easy to answer in my view. Imagine stepping back to a time before the internet, before the telephone, and even before the post. Individuals who were seeking work would approach the employer personally. I expect they would take some time to have a conversation that was worlds away from a list of bullet points on a piece of paper. I am guessing of course – but I imagine there are a higher richness and insight to that exchange. Even if the candidate was not the right person for the job, they probably had an opportunity to discuss their abilities, and where they would need training. It would have been a completely humanised experience – where dismissing somebody’s interest based on one small flaw would be unlikely.
We are now at a point where recruiters can be sifting through hundreds of online job applications in a week. That has quite understandably led to a level of fatigue with the process – candidates who have no relevant experience applying for roles. We are left with a Tinder-style situation where unless a candidate fits the spec explicitly, they are quickly and quite mindlessly ‘swiped to the left’. Surely we are missing some of the best candidates, who perhaps don’t tick every box, but would thrive and excel if given the opportunity to interview.
The high volume of candidate applications paired with an increasingly burdensome workload has made many of us lose our empathy. We busily sort candidates into yes and no, black and white, the binary. Anybody that falls into the grey is more often than not swept up in the NO pile. Why? Because it would involve some consideration and time to pick up the phone and discuss suitability with the candidate – to work out if the grey is an opportunity. When we dismiss those candidates in the middle, we are not only doing them a disservice, but we are also letting down our clients. Because of course, we all know how important employee diversity is for well-functioning teams, and organisational innovation.
You might be wondering where the time is going to come from to be ‘empathetic’ – because it will take more physical and emotional effort. It will come from the places where you can spare it when you realise the benefits of changing the way you approach your candidate search. That is of course not a straightforward answer, but I am confident it is one you will have no issue with when you experience the positive impact of Empathic Recruitment℠.
There’s a lot of speculation about the best recruitment process to attract and recognise talent in the recruitment industry. One of the most notable trends for 2018 though has been to incorporate video recruitment. It’s a big change but it helps businesses and candidates stand out from the crowd. Most importantly, it finds the right person for any particular role.
Every position with the same title will have variations in the skills required. 100% of these will involve different people and business cultures. Being able to distinguish these traits and match accordingly is essential for companies wanting to stay ahead.
For me, the most significant advantage this technology brings is the ability to automate questioning within an application. Candidates can answer questions via the video platform during applying or in their own time. This extra information gives you a snapshot of their character and social capabilities. It also helps to envisage whether they would fit into the team, not a just a job description. Hiring Managers don’t get the same information with paper-based applications and second guess who they interview. When you are shortlisting and have five equally good CV’s but only have three interview slots available, this prevents wasted interviews. It also makes choosing who to interview a whole lot easier.
All of this may sound a bit one-sided from a candidates perspective, but the truth is it works both ways and makes life easier for both parties. If you’re the candidate and get invited for an interview, getting the time off work, the travelling required, finding parking and all the other inconveniences feel huge when you arrive and either they don’t like you or vice versa (you usually know in the first 5 minutes). Wouldn’t it be easier to find out in 5 minutes in the comfort of your own home? It’s a welcomed change in the recruitment process for me!
When Employers or Recruiters shortlist applications, they can sometimes be unintentionally biased or unfair. Assumptions made when reading someone’s CV can often be the cause of this. The problem is we can all be unintentionally biased, especially when hiring as it’s a part of human nature.
The less information we have to make decisions, the more of these judgements we’re likely to make. Bias views happen subconsciously most of the time. We’re designed to respond to trends and can be affected by almost anything. This is how ‘stereotypes’ that you find in society are created. Many surveys done say that job seekers consider hiring processes biased for this exact reason. I’ve heard “They said I was over-qualified but they don’t know my situation” too many times.
Video recruitment used properly gives more information and is more transparent. It helps de-bias the opinions made when looking at the paper version of a candidate. It’s also a great way of reminding yourself of candidate’s responses. Video interviews can be replayed to multiple staff members giving you time to analyse along with as many professional opinions as you need. Integrating the team in the process will decrease the chance of any turbulent new hires.
Modern interviews can be unstructured, making candidates more likely to be subject to an unfair process. Candidates can use our automated video application, where they’re asked the same questions in the same order, in the same environment. This creates an equal and accurate experience for everyone. You’re still going to meet these people too. It just gives you more information to decide on who to meet.
We can use algorithms to assess human qualities bypassing assumptions we all fall victim to. The outcome is predicting the right person for each specific position in the business.
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We are all capable of being unconsciously biased in all areas of life. We make this mistake less often with more information we have though. Using technology can provide a more accurate and fair judgment as well as a better experience for candidates – are your hiring practices up to date?
People often ask me why I called it Empathic Recruitment℠ so I thought I’d share my answer. I named L J Doulton “the empathic recruitment consultancy” for two fundamental reasons. Firstly, I developed the service that we offer by empathising with employers. I thought ‘what sort of service would I want from a recruitment agency and what are the current issues?’
Secondly, I fully believe that all the candidate’s attributes that you get to see with this method are either a by-product of empathy or result from a lack of it. Someone helping a colleague is an act of kindness, but it’s normally because that person could relate to their situation. It is these characteristics you can observe using video application methods, that I believe are more important than what you see on paper. Ideas thrive when you cluster together likeminded team members and the collaborative IQ of a strong team will always exceed any individual
An example of this would be, If you are a fantastic programmer and know every language with all the qualifications, but don’t know how to empathise, you won’t be able to think of the scenarios your end-user is in, so you won’t be able to make such a useful product. Knowledge is irrelevant if you don’t know how to apply it and it’s empathy that drives the most significant achievements.
There is the third reason: High performing teams rely on empathy to make them work smoothly. Empathy is the catalyst for turning a group of individuals into a team.. i.e. “we are all just cogs in the gearbox of life, and empathy is the oil”. Empathic teams produce better outputs and are the foundations of resilience and of long-term corporate prosperity.
To find out more about Empathic Recruitment℠ gives us a call.
It can be hard shortlisting potential candidates when you are comparing the CV versions of people. Paper-based processing has its restrictions and is open to manipulation and equally, misinterpretation. Employers will only meet a small selection of candidates even though you can have 50 applications. How you filter these applications for the interview stage is crucial. It seems unnecessary to second guess when technology is forever growing more sophisticated making it possible to counter these problems.
That’s why amongst other emerging technologies, we include an Interactive Video Platform (IVP) tool in our shortlisting process. It allows candidates to submit video responses to automated questions within the original application. This offers employers a greater insight into the suitability of each candidate and can save a significant amount of time for both while increasing the value of the shortlisting data tremendously.
Our IVP is a quick and reliable tool that offers more insight into the ethics of a person, their social capabilities, their personality, their leadership and communication skills all of which are essential when hiring the best candidate for the team.
We still assess information on their CV and it’s often this exercise that inspires some of the further questioning asked in face to face interviews. What an IVP allows you do is quickly get a first impression of someone’s personality. If you have 3 equal CV’s and only one interview slot, this feature will make your life a lot easier! You can also conduct live interviews online and compare these with other applicants and share them with other managers through our platform to ensure you hire the right person for the team, as well as for the job description.
Have you ever had a perfect application on paper only to be disappointed after conducting it? Not anymore!
Posting job adverts at the right time can beat the competition or help reach the intended market maximising job applications. The times that people apply vary for different jobs. This can be used to help predict the best times to advertise your vacancy. People looking for work spend approximately half an hour daily. This is done through various job boards so timing this right and in the right places, can be an efficient way of boosting your coverage.
One job board has 200 million visitors monthly handling 37.5 million resumes. A surprisingly large portion of which apply either midday or dinnertime from Monday through to Wednesday. These rarely get many on Fridays and weekends. This is the active and employed group. Employed people will have a tendency to apply in the evening and rarely in the day excluding lunch time. Unemployed candidates apply more frequently during the afternoon which makes sense. Although there’s a variety of different groups the times they apply spread the traffic out, Monday, Tuesdays and sometimes Wednesdays will typically win the race of the busiest times people look for jobs online.
However, there you can take this concept a lot further. Variations in who applies and what times they look online could have you better off posting on different days on occasion. A good example is, if you were hiring for a graduate position, statistics show that graduates tend to follow a similar pattern to people out of work. Most apply for jobs on Monday and Tuesday, stopping from midday, and resuming in the late evening. But the most popular day that graduates have been shown to apply is Sunday evenings from 7pm onwards. If you were looking for a Graduate, having the campaign start on Sunday evening puts you at the top of the job board when they’re likely to be looking.
Companies are always looking for technical staff. Whether its software coders, engineers, data scientists, and web designers. It’s hard to find people with strong tech skills, and who also fits your business culture. Most hiring managers and recruiters found it challenging finding workers with tech skills as it is. To find someone who also has the personality and social competence for that particular team a challenge.
Having a lack of tech talent in your business can damage revenue without you knowing, and will always slow down development. Coders, software engineers, data scientists, and web designers are more needed in this “tech-bubble-society” than ever.
The technology field is broad and every company works differently, so finding an absolutely perfect match is unlikely. However, finding someone with the majority of skills but with strong social capabilities isn’t. Having a team fit leads to new recruits quickly inheriting the skills necessary from their colleagues.
Empathic Recruitment ℠ uses video recruitment software to gain information needed to make informed hiring decisions, gathering information on personality traits, work ethic and social suitability compared to paper-based data processing, allowing hiring managers to meticulously shortlist.
By seeing people directly, you automatically assess their personality and social skills and are more likely emphasise with their story as you’re more likely to know if it’s genuine. It a allows us to use our ‘gut instincts’ and intuition which can inform us when something isn’t ‘quite right’ about that person for this position.
Recruitment Technology is growing fast and can save a lot of time when used correctly. You do still need a human involved to get the most of technology. Automating recruitment completely is impossible, for now! Finding people with suitable skills for a role is one thing and AI allows us to automate that pretty well. Finding someone who fits a particular business is a lot more complicated.
With the recruitment process as it stands, matching these are often a complete lottery. It’s an especially important consideration when avoiding a low retention of staff. So why is phase one of shortlisting based purely on CV’s when you can’t see these traits on paper? It’s always worth establishing genuine connections with as many applicants as you can in order to find the right stuff which simply isn’t possible when looking at a CV.
Whoever you hire, will not only contribute to representing your company to your customers and other prospects, but they could potentially contribute to positive or negative change internally too. Negativity or unhappiness can be as contagious as a laugh or positivity in an office environment.
Video recruitment allows you to have a snapshot of every person that has shown an interest in your business. They don’t have to answer questions on the spot and can do so without travel. It allows you to compare candidates more easily. Boolean search is a Recruiters searching language of choice. There are huge developments in this now that allows searches to think for themselves.
Our objective is to change the paper-based recruitment practices into a process that focuses on human connection and emotional intelligence. When a candidate’s individual skills and qualifications match your job, it doesn’t mean they will match your team, direct report or overall company culture. We called the methodology of focusing on this Empathic Recruitment ℠.
We use artificially intelligent searching software to make sure we reach out to as many suitable candidates as possible!