I wrote this for Elevated HR’s blog but thought some of my job searching and HR readers might enjoy this too!
By Jillian Walker, Vice President Client Experience, Elevated HR Solutions
In my past life, recruiting meant activating a job posting on recruitment software, filtering through applicants based on points, looking at 10 resumes out of 200-500, formal phone screening, structured competency based interviews, ranking employees against each other with points and putting out a formal offer about 8 weeks later. It was fairly mindless and no stress. We often hired multiple applicants for the same job and if someone didn’t last – oh well!
Nowadays I’m leading a recruitment process that is highly personable and culture-driven.
The goal is always to find a rockstar candidate for one of our exceptional clients. It’s about finding the right fit for the candidate AND the right fit for the company — not one or the other.
The process begins with writing a job description that is actually interesting and reflective of the company’s culture. In my words, we write them straight up. Here is what you need, here is what we would love and here is the nitty gritty. They are written in a way that intrigues a candidate — but would also scare off the wrong candidate.
As the candidates come in, we review each and every application. We respond back to candidates with questions about their education and experience. We pull out applications that may not be a right fit for this company, but could be a right fit for another one. After a quick phone screen, we ask each short-listed candidate to complete a culture-fit questionnaire. It further determines if the candidate and the company are a match.
Throughout this experience, we continually learn about the candidate and the company. The focus is on building relationships, while achieving results. Sometimes the candidate opts out of the process, sometimes the company changes the title or job duties. We adapt as we go along.
Once the candidate has passed all the paper work and brief phone calls — we meet them either in person or via Skype video [we are recruiting for multiple cities these days!]. Candidates have an opportunity to showcase their personality and explain their passions.
Eventually we make it to the point where the candidate gets to meet the client in person. By this time, they know the company inside and out and we have worked with them to shine on their resume and questionnaire. We provide them tips on how to be successful and do our best to ensure minimal surprises!
We usually hear back from the candidate immediately after the interview. They provide feedback on the company and the process — and it’s in their court to send thank you’s to those involved! The company gets in touch with us to discuss the final candidates and determine if an offer will be made. Often last minute questions come up and we go back to the candidates if needed. If the company decides to do a second round of interviews with a different level of management, we book them. It’s important to keep momentum in the process [A-player candidates are often interviewing at multiple companies!].
Lastly we check references, complete skills testing if required (computer skills etc) and ask the candidate to complete Strengths Finder 2.0. We utilize Strengths Finder with of our clients. Why? Because we totally believe in it and think that it is an effective way to assess employees. Strengths Finder showcases an employees strengths and further determines if they are the right fit for the role and the company. It is a reflective exercise for the candidate and a refreshing perspective for the company.
This type of recruiting isn’t necessarily a long process – it’s just thorough. Our process creates so many touch points with the candidate that you truly start to understand who they are — strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, etc. We invest a lot of time in the process to ensure we have truly found the right fit.
Does it backfire? Sometimes. People change, plans change… but we wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t work the strong majority of the time.
All the time we place candidates at our clients and they say things like “I’ve never been happier. This is the perfect job for me.” Would I have heard that in my last life? Absolutely not. Perhaps once in a blue moon if a candidate got lucky.
The candidates that I’ve had the opportunity to meet have truly been a breath of fresh air. I’m impressed by their honesty, drive and commitment. When I give a candidate a call, they are expecting me to be a no personality Recruiter wanting them to enter into a structured archaic process. Instead, I explain how we do things differently at Elevated HR and look for them to be adaptable. Sometimes they’re caught off guard, but often they laugh and immediately turn casual. When people interact with each other casually, you generally see true colors. Matching for fit just got easier. :)
All the time people ask me “What is your favourite HR function?” I used to say Organizational Development and Effectiveness. Now though? Recruitment is growing on me. Matchmaking A-players with fabulous companies makes my heart smile.