5 Things to Consider When Recruiting in 2016

5 Things to Consider When Recruiting in 2016

With help from Kraig Docherty

With that said then, the idea of hiring Millennials must be a focus of the past. Now, we have to hire someone based on fit, as opposed to strictly skill set or age.

The most cringe-worthy statements I hear on a regular basis are when people talk about hiring Millennials. Often I hear that ‘Millennials like X’, ‘X is how we engage Millennials’, or ‘Millennials are X’. The truth is Millennials are, and aren’t, all of the things we generalize them to be. In Canada alone there are 7.5 million people born between the years 1980 and 1995. To suggest that all of them like to be treated a certain way is a gross misunderstanding of people, as we simply can’t generalize them based on year.

When it comes to recruiting then, the conversation must shift from recruiting Millennials to recruiting individuals. The age that people are born is irrelevant, as the desires and qualities we generalize them to have can be displayed in people of any age.

With that said then, the idea of hiring Millennials must be a focus of the past. Now, we have to hire someone based on fit, as opposed to strictly skill set or age. How do we do that? Consider these five steps that will help drive a new way of recruiting. Why? As Justin Trudeau would (almost) say, ‘Because it’s 2016’.

1: Understand your employees and organization

Unless we truly know the talent that comprises our workplaces, what they value, what their experiences are, and why they are working here, it isn’t possible to bring someone on who is a good fit. Culture can’t be created or fixed, it’s not a checklist; culture can only be aligned. It is how the organization is already showing up.  By truly understanding the environment and how people interact with it we can start getting a better sense of what a profile looks like for the best person to fill an empty seat.

2: Hire for an individual and not a cohort

Too often we hear about hiring a Millennial, someone who is a new grad, or has X amount of experience. The truth is, if the values of the company are aligned with the individual looking for the experience that is being offered, the productivity and satisfaction of this person will be much higher than that of someone who was simply brought on because they have the skill set do to the job. As someone who graduated out of business school, I often say that my degree would indicate to my employer that I have the ability to learn whatever it is they are going to teach me anyways. Hiring based on skill certainly can’t be ignored, but it is easier to teach skill than purpose or passion.

3: Hire slow and fire fast

This is nothing new, but deserves being reiterated.  As a CEO, or senior team, being proactive to culture and ensuring the right fit is there is of utmost importance. Ensuring that the individual understands what the experience on the job is going to be like, who they are going to be working with, and what the job will enable them to do outside of work is essential. The cost of replacing someone who doesn’t fit can be 1.5x the base salary. Taking a little longer to ensure the person we bring on is a good fit is not only a huge cost saver, but also will promote a more aligned culture.  Opposite to that is the need to make the necessary decisions if the wrong people are on the bus.  “The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve likely made a hiring mistake.”

4:Provide the interviewee with a set of questions to ask the organization

Because this conversation around culture is so new and not well understood, I often see that people are looking for a great culture, but seldom know what that experience or really looks like or how to assess it for themselves. If the organization who is recruiting the individual can provide coaching and knowledge around this, it will be easier to see if there is a fit from both sides. A few examples of questions they could ask:

  • What is it you enjoy most about working here?
  • Give me an example of what your worst day looked like?
  • How does the team celebrate accomplishments?
  • How does the team communicate – Slack?  Stand-ups?
  • Does the entire company get together on any frequency to discuss long term strategy and celebrate wins?

5: Have the individual interview with someone already in the position

Having a conversation with someone who is in the job already is important both from the individual’s side, and the organization. If existing employees can get a feel of who they might be working with and what that experience might be, it is much easier to see alignment of values. Similarly, the interviewee can easily see if they would enjoy the environment, who they might be working with, and what the experience of the job means to the people who are already there.

it’s our job to read between the lines

Though it may seem risky, to bring on the right person, an organization must be completely transparent. If employees sometimes work 12-14 hours, no problem! Some people are looking for an opportunity can really sink their teeth into.

This all goes without saying.  Don’t judge a book by its cover.  We’re all busy, I get that.  But as Recruiters and Talent Professionals, it’s our job to read between the lines, gauge aptitude, and assess the value that someone can contribute.  You can’t do that by sifting through resumes and determining that “he/she has too much experience and won’t be a fit.”  Pick up the phone and have a conversation.  You’re not doing the person, or that organization, any favours but judging a book by its cover.

To think that the Google culture is a desirable culture for all organizations is wrong. The culture at Google is only right for the people that work there. With that said though, the feeling and satisfaction of the people at Google is something that a company can certainly strive for. Just note that different people like different things.

The future of work isn’t a generational conversation and it isn’t about having the best culture. It is about identifying who is in our organizations, what they value, and how we can better tell that story.

Why? Because its 2016.


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