Quality of hire in unprecedented times

A problem for recruiting where quality of hire counts

COVID-19 has dramatically changed the world for organisations, individuals and communities. For some it’s an utter tragedy, while for most it sits somewhere between a significant inconvenience to complete uncertainty. None of us are untouched. It’s a subject everyone has written or voiced an opinion about it, including actual experts, so I’ll not add to that noise. Instead, I’ll talk about recruitment.

For many employers and employees alike, the very nature of employment has changed – but demands on quality, productivity and service, on one side, and engagement, purpose and fulfilment on the other, remain the same. Well, maybe same-but-different – at least until we get used to a “new normal”, whatever that turns out to be.

Immediate challenges include how to measure and manage effort, attention and performance, provide helpful instruction, support and feedback, and to replicate the social aspects of culture, cooperating, sharing experiences, gossiping, talking bollocks, having a laugh and, well, simply being a highly social species. Our brains evolved for interaction and stimulation, not isolation and boredom. If you worried social media was an unhelpful distraction before…

A particularly difficult challenge comes with hiring remotely when it’s not just filling a pretty standard gap for the short term. What about hiring for values, engagement, performance, retention, fulfilment and culture – things that are even more important than usual where opportunity, initiative, discretionary effort, trust and autonomy are taken up a notch? It’s one thing to have recruitment skills and process, but, as every top recruiter and HR professional knows, decisions are often formed through intuition, gut feelings and micro-signals sensed through conversational face-to-face interviews. Of course, a Skype or Zoom interview can support some of these insights, but for most it is an unfamiliar and unnatural setting, with poor eye contact, disconnected body language, flattening of verbal cues, distractions and micro-signals that are too easily missed or misinterpreted. And no-one wants to have to rely on resumes or references… that would be a disaster!

OK, so this is the bit where I shamelessly plug our USP that has allowed us to identify brilliant new team members, from truck drivers to general management, including when we never got to meet the applicant face-to-face. It might be helpful for some at this time, if quality of hire is important and normal recruitment process is compromised.

Ready? Here goes. I’ve kept it to 3 points to stop me rambling and hopefully I don’t lose you along the way. (Clearly, I’m not a salesman – I’m known for many things but selling isn’t one of them.)

Neurosmart recruitment support infographic

1. Our proven behavioural recruitment (especially interviewing) process is based on exclusive NEURO-M concepts including behavioural patterns (in and out of stress), intrinsic motivation, cultural fit, engagement, performance and fulfilment.

2. Our unique NEURO-M Candidate Assessments draw on the same concepts at various levels of conscious awareness to explore behaviour, motivation and, for some roles, leadership resilience, along with positivity, character and integrity. They draw from various angles and levels, and, when expertly cross-referenced, give us AMAZING insights that have enabled our clients to experience significant reductions in stress, disengagement and turnover. These reports also provide insights for managers into how a new employee might best be understood, motivated, engaged and fulfilled. I guarantee there will be things you find out about that you didn’t know – some you’ll be glad you found out about now rather than later, and some you’ll just be glad about.

3. We can do as much or as little as you like. For some clients we do everything (including the hiring decision!), for others we only administer and analyse the NEURO-M Candidate Assessments, and we’ve also been known to do something in-between. Our pricing is always on the very-reasonable end of the scale for whatever we do, and we have worked hard for many years to build a reputation and extremely loyal client base built on evidence-based practice, value, honesty and excellence. If it didn’t work and represent great value in real-world application, we wouldn’t still be doing it. Rather, in the last year alone, we’ve assessed more than twice as many applicants as the year before.

OK, that’s it for the sales-spiel. If you’d like some help with your recruitment process while things are all out-of-sorts, let me know and we’ll help however you’d like to be supported and we promise to deliver great value along the way. If you’re doing fine on your own, or, like so many, unfortunately have to deal with quite the opposite, I hope things work out the best they can in the circumstances for you and your team.

2020 is going to be tough for most of us, no doubt. I hope that we can draw on the best versions of ourselves to be patient, professional, compassionate and resilient. Hopefully we also remember to look for the funny side of little everyday occurrences as we support each other through this.

Take care