A More Humane Side of Human Resources

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The terms “War for Talents”, “The Talent Wars”, or any other variation, have been appearing rather frequently in the lives of recruiters and hiring managers for some time now. It is merely an expression, of course, a way to symbolize the competitive and fierce aspects of what it is like for companies to bring in the best workers. With more specialized job positions opening every day, it’s no wonder why most companies are trying all kinds of strategies to win this “war”.

But let’s think about what the phrase itself entails. The “Talent Wars” can be seen as a kind of dispute between two or more parties over a finite resource, in this case talent. Of course there are no actual armed confrontations, but have you stopped for a second and thought that what companies are fighting over are actually human beings?

The Root of the Issue

We’ve discussed before how recruiters are often urged to put a lot of effort into reducing the time it takes to hire a candidate and, simultaneously, increase the number of hires as much as possible. In order to cope with these demands, many recruiters use a wide range of techniques, strategies, and tools to help them do most of the heavy lifting. However, due to the high levels of stress and the great amount of work they may be subjected to, they can sometimes forget that they’re not dealing with just numbers on a screen or sheets of papers with skills and qualifications to match to a job description; they’re dealing with people.

Companies need to start realizing that they need talented people to stay afloat these days, and the best way to attract these professionals is by treating them with the respect they deserve and offering them what they want. Once organizations make this change, they will start to see the results almost immediately.

Humane Engagement

Talent is nothing without motivation or engagement. The first step to having a more humane recruitment process is by having candidates apply, not because they need a job in your company, but because they want it. Regardless of the specialization or type of company you are, the only way to make people want to work with you is by showing them what sets you apart from the competition. What can you offer candidates that no one else can?

Changing the Point of View

Let’s do a little exercise and try to see the ideal recruitment process from the eyes of your candidate. First, think of the way your company is presenting itself, not only to their clients, but to the general public. How well-known are you? What do people associate your brand with? This is important because your image is the first thing a candidate will see when they look the company up and it’s one of the factors that will make them decide whether or not they want to work with you.

Now, think of your recruitment process. Is it simple and fast? When a candidate applies to a job, they don’t want to go through a never-ending barrage of questions, forms, and requirements. At this point, you only need basic information about them, so try your best to keep this stage as simple as possible.

Once a candidate is past the application process, we enter into the part where it is most important to keep in mind that you’re dealing with actual people! When they send in their application, your response should always be prompt and sincere. Let your applicants know right away that their information has been received and that you will notify them about the next steps of the process soon.

It is crucial that you try your best to make your emails as personalized as possible. Most people can tell when an email was sent as an automatic response written by a computer and when it was written by an actual person. Receiving cold messages without any trace of humanity makes candidates feel like they’re just a number in a queue.

Keep It Real

Nobody likes waiting in line, and if there’s something even worse than that, is an invisible line. That’s how many candidates feel during the selection process. They just don’t know how far along they are or what is even happening.

Be open and honest about the whole hiring process with your candidates. Let them know the steps they need to follow, respect their time, don’t make them wait longer than necessary for an answer, and, above all, never ever use the classic line “We’ll let you know”; we all know you won’t.

When a candidate doesn’t make the cut, don’t just ice them. Let them know that they were not selected and explain why. Another good idea is to always invite them to re-apply for future opportunities and keep them engaged.

Final Thoughts

It takes a lot of work to bring in the best workers to your company, but that doesn’t mean that you should ever forget that you’re dealing with actual people. This industry is called Human Resources for a reason after all.

Eduardo Rojas
Content Marketing Editor