How to Hire Differently



The entire hiring and recruitment eco-system in Australia is pretty much broken and a national disgrace.  Having been on ALL sides of the system I am qualified to call the ‘elephant in the room’ for what it is.  It's only when behaviours and models are 'outed and shamed' can change start to occur.  And it's time !

It’s critical for all sides of the system (HR, Hiring Companies, Recruiters, Managers) to take a serious look at themselves and say ENOUGH we need to change NOW. Why ?   - because it’s just not $$ cost or time effective and damage to  industries and individual company brands us massive.  

The results of the current methods don’t exactly result in brilliant outcomes either, now do they ? Just look at the statistics around retention, attrition and staff disconnect. And then we have the ‘human/social cost’ of appalling recruitment methods and disregard for job seekers as ‘humans’. People are often recruited  only because ‘on the outside’ they look like the right peg for the right hole (or know someone/nepotism).   But it doesn’t always work out they were a good fit.  Quite often the better candidate hasn’t even been in the hiring pool in the first place. The whole recruitment ecosystem would do well to consider the accounting TBL (Triple Bottom Line) principle. Review all 3 elements in all processes :– financial, environmental, social/people implications.


TripleBottom Line


We have robots on all sides of the recruitment ecosystem not having the courage to do things differently and ask critical game-changing questions to challenge the status quo.  And recruiters & HR following like sheep without power.

At the front end we have compliant and often fear driven candidates sending robotic and inhuman CV’s to boring and robotic job adverts. The jobs themselves are generally ‘just thrown together’ without any real thought and alignment for what exactly the job spec /role /manager really Needs vs Wants.     Job adverts generally contain unrealistic ‘pie in the sky’ technical and wishful criteria which actually repels great candidates all the time. And don’t get me started on the level of ‘online forms and hoopla’ required – its often just designed to fulfil lazy ATS systems (applicant tracking systems).   Studies confirm that women will rarely apply for roles if they don’t meet 100% of the criteria – so how many awesome women are YOU missing out on because of silly job criteria’s and unrealistic expectations?

Then we get to the processing of applications (dismal and with a total lack of any care or due diligence), dreadful inexperienced and robotic interviewers, rude recruiters and HR managers, over the top interview processes and unnecessary processes to jump through and over. Then we get to salary dances and in-authentic offers, poor treatment of unnsuccesful candidates and PR follow-up.

Now I know that many companies and recruiters do a really nice job of the process BUT it is rare. The recruitment industry need to change their entire way of remuneration (another blog to follow)  It just doesn’t work to have a full on $$ sales culture which focusses only on volume of placements vs a more TBL framework. Sure everyone needs to make $$ and recruiters are in business to be commercially successful BUT there IS a better way for everyone and its not with the current system. Recruiters and hiring companies must unite and get rid of the dead wood and ridiculous systems to amplify the industry to where it should be – a fee for service, respectful and professional occupation NOT a ‘tick and flick’ system.

A few tips to get started :

Position Description/JD– Every job must have one. This is critical before hiring takes place. Far too many companies don’t have one and hence the entire process is ‘hit & miss’ and ‘unfair

Do a real analysis and deep review of what the job outcome looks like – what are the results required? Focus on the RESULTS vs criteria. Ask your teams, partners and suppliers what ‘success’ in this role looks like.   You may find some ‘gold’ you haven’t considered, and more importantly realise that what you thought you needed and was required, well isn’t that important.   

The PD/JD  is also a selling tool for your company – you must entice, excite and encourage people ‘authentically’. It has to include ‘your story in a conversational tone’. This will really help align reality vs delusion across culture and eliminate surprises. Be honest and engaging. And HEY, if there is crap going on in your company that WILL NOT look good on a PD/JD – well there is your call to address those issues. Honesty is key. No company, role or candidate is perfect after all. But looking at improving problems is a MUST. 

Salary – now lets get real and save time also – put a salary range on the PD – yes I know many will say this is a NO NO. But stop the time wastage and game playing ok.   

Job advertisement – based on a human voiced and realistic PD place an engaging and welcoming job advertisement. And DO NOT have ‘only short listed candidates will be contacted’. Where realistic (ie not for roles advertising for 200 telemarketers) put a email/name of the hiring person on the advertisement (encourage a culture of enquiry). Remember that everywhere your company is mentioned is an opportunity for PR and developing a reputation of a EOC (Employer of Choice) 

Candidate Management – Respond to EVERY ‘legitimate’ candidate email, application and phone enquiry. If you don’t have the human resources to do so, employ someone to manage this. No excuses here (except for 3rd world countries and people who have just ticked and flicked to satisfy Centrelink). 

Interviews – treat them as 2-way meetings NOT master vs slave, desperate job seeker vs superior hiring manager/ recruiter.   Interviewing is a skill – if you don’t have the rapport building ability and knowledge of the right questions to ask to get the right answers FIND SOMEONE who does whilst you get training. Remember Andrew Denton’s interview style – great questions to elicit fabulous real answers.  

Finally - remember that only questions, an open and realistic mindset will ensure that you increase your hiring success. There is no such thing as a perfect job, company or candidate – because everyone is human and as such are not textbook cut-outs. Try recruiting with compassion, vision, realism and humanity.

Do you have the courage to hire differently in 2016 ?