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Humanising recruitment: Should recruitment return to the basics?

Written by Kimberley Startup | November 2, 2012 | 5 Comments

recruitment, online recruitment, webrecruit, candidates, jobseekers, job seekers, human resources, HR, employers, business advice, hiring, hiring strategy, hiring process, humanisation, personalisationRemember when recruitment was all about building relationships? When it was about getting to know the candidates, their passions and their motivations? When the focus was on providing a great candidate experience? …What changed?

The reliance on technology by today’s recruiter has seen huge transformations in the recruitment industry. Whether this is for better or worse, one thing for certain is candidate care is no longer a priority.

Instead of picking up the phone and speaking to candidates, it’s not uncommon for recruiters to rely on emails and InMails. For example, when a candidate applies for a job, they get a standardised bounce-back email with the words we all dread to hear: ‘Thank you for your application. We will be in touch shortly’. In other words, ‘We’ve received your CV which has now entered the black hole’.

Such reliance on the bounce-back email as well as other technology solutions is just the icing on the cake when it comes to the injustices of recruiting. So what needs to change?

Whilst we cannot escape technology or mass communication, there is absolutely no reason why we can’t personalise or humanise our message to candidates.

Seeking out the talent and goodness in every individual is where our focus should lie. And as a recruiter, it’s our job to help align a person’s talent with what is possible within our client’s company.

Without understanding your candidates’ goals, aspirations, motivations and drive, they can only join a company for the financial stipend or bonuses. Yet what makes an organisation truly successful is having a team who care about making a difference – not just to their own lives but to the lives of others as well.

According to Matthew Jeffrey, we must bring back the basics of recruitment, including:

– Picking up the phone
– Building relationships with your candidates
– Identifying their key motivators
– Understanding your clients’ business strategies and cultural fit
– Aligning your candidates’ needs to your clients’ organisation

Humanising recruitment is the key to any successful hiring campaign. It’s not just about the formulaic, rigid and formal hiring process. It’s about how significant one can be; it’s about making a difference to a business and the lives of others, one person at a time.

To find out more about humanising the recruitment process, check our Matthew Jeffrey’s latest article ‘Recruitment 5.0 The Future of Recruiting – the Final Chapter’.

At webrecruit, the nature of our model is to deliver a transparent service – one that allows the end employer to build relationships sooner with a candidate. And maintaining and developing relationships with the job seeker is always our priority.

You can visit our candidate page here for all our latest job opportunities, free resources and great advice.

5 thoughts on “Humanising recruitment: Should recruitment return to the basics?

  1. Nick Green on Reply

    All technology has given us is a much larger database with access to literally thousands and thousands of people.

    Recruitment as an art form is still effective questioning, understanding, qualifying, matching and introducing candidates to clients and vice versa.

    As a process recruitment is easy, as a career it is a lifelong learning curve where intricacies and attention to minor detail makes a world of difference!

  2. Steve Ward on Reply

    I think this is a good message, but let’s go further. Recruiters can boast all they like about how many people they speak to on the phone – but the ultimate humanisation is in meeting candidates and clients face to face. Yes, the world as it is means we can’t, and don’t `need` to meet every candidate – however, a target of knowing that at least 80% of your active candidate database has had face to face assessment is good news for a client and a candidate. It is also the only way to achieve that relationship that Matthew talks about in his piece.
    The irony is, that good social media usage allows more of this to happen, because speed of connection and trust is enhanced.
    Knowing how to get that mix right, is a key answer to recruitment agency survival going forward.

  3. Matt Jones on Reply

    Unfortunately it all comes from the top and when you have an industry that is run on fear (of not hitting targets, of being sacked, of losing accounts) people will cut corners. Until managers and leaders of recruitment organisations start giving their employees the breathing space and the time to not only do the basics but also learn how to do them properly, the industry will remain the same.

  4. Alconcalcia on Reply

    I have been saying for some time now that technology has, to an extent, destroyed creativity. From realising that recruitment remains a business that is all about relationships to writing alluring messages in the form of job ads, many seem to believe that the ‘cut, past and click approach’ – i.e. cut & paste a lame job description onto Broadbean and fire it out to countless job boards and social media sites – is enough. In short, it isn’t. Human beings are led by their emotions. They need stimulation, whether it be a p[hone conversation discussing their individual needs or reading a recruitment ad that actually speaks to them as a real person, not as just another potentially ‘successful applicant’ or ‘ideal candidate’. I wrote a blog related to the subject recently –
    – if you haven’t time to read it, the message is ‘get creative in your approach to recruitment if you want to succeed’.

  5. Alex Lopez on Reply

    I do agree that the process has become extremely impersonal thru the internet and social media. I believe that the process should go back to where recruiters should take the time to pick up the phone and know the candidates. Undergoing the process for the first time in my 32 year career has been disappointing, I apply for positions that I am absolutely certain that I am qualified to undertake, yet get the automated response that I do not meet the employers requirements. There are times that speaking with candidate says much more of what they are about, their experience and what they have to offer. When writing a CV it sometimes may not convey the abilities in the exact terminology, yet the candidate does have the skills for the position. What happened to recruiters just picking up the phone and getting to know a candidate. After all finding the correct match for the client is the priority, and leads to much stronger recognition from clients and can increase loyalty on behalf of candidates, encouraging future business for recruiter.

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