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Recruitment technology

"Business as Usual" Is Simply Not an Option in Recruitment

Clare Hopping

Colleen McMahon/flickr Colleen McMahon/flickr

Strengths-based recruitment (SBR) has become a foremost concern for many businesses over the last several years. Predictions in 2010 had SBR establishing itself as the norm for recruitment practices by 2020.

Has this prognostication started to become a reality, and are there better ways than the “traditional” interview to discover candidates’ real strengths and passions?

In 2010, an article entitled “Strength-based recruitment to dominate by 2020: experts,” published by CIO, highlighted the consensus reached by psychology experts and IT Leaders.

In 2014, strengths-based recruitment (SBR) caught the eye of more companies looking to make a positive change to their hiring practices. The evidence is clearly seen in job descriptions that speak to individual strengths and attributes, instead of lists of never-ending role responsibilities. Companies like SABMiller, Unilever, The Walt Disney Company, and Starbucks all engage in strength-based recruiting.

Skills Can Be Taught, but Passion Sure Can’t

Whether companies like it or not, people constantly search for their dream jobs and only stop looking once they find them. Do you like being a stepping stone, or would you rather represent the promised land that can offer your employees what they want?

Strengths-based, as opposed to competencies-based recruitment, places a strong emphasis on finding talent that will enjoy working in a given position and fit well within the organisation’s culture. It focusses on what candidates enjoy doing the most and what they are good at, while competencies-based recruitment simply takes into account what they are able to do while failing to account for what they do and do not enjoy.

Since employees are more likely to be of long-term value to a company when they are doing work they place personal value on, it makes sense to hire based on this instead of their technical abilities alone.

With SBR, companies essentially assist in finding candidates their perfect roles so that they don’t lose them to better-suited opportunities down the road. Employee turnover goes down and productivity goes up.

Finding the Right Person

There are many reasons why the initial stages of the traditional interview process need to be reformed. Depending on your industry, a vacant position could attract hundreds or even thousands of job applications. You need a way to filter them efficiently with a lean HR team that can read between the lines of each CV. It will likely come down to two candidates in the end anyway, so why start with interviewing 50?

Video interviews deliver more right-fit candidates, and saves time, money and stress for both recruiters and candidates. They are easier to schedule since all they require is a quiet space and internet connection for each party. There are no transport issues and no delays due to traffic. Stress levels are lower and each party can relax and prepare for the interview in a familiar space.

The need for verbatim notes is eliminated: anytime you need to concentrate on writing during an interview, you are missing details. When interviewed through LaunchPad Recruit’s video interviewing platform, you have access to the footage whenever you need it and can make notes after the fact.

Strengths-Based Recruitment in Action

SBR, when implemented intelligently, will lead to a more efficient, happier workforce that feeds off one another, and thus engender less staff turnover.

According to HR Magazine, one of the earliest documented cases of SBR is at Standard Chartered Bank, which in 2000 implemented a system that profiled managers with excellent customer relations skills and applied the learnings to the wider business.

In the wake of the program’s marked success, the bank applied SBR to staff who would make an impact on a directly measurable result: revenue. And sure enough, employees hired through the new SBR process generated 40% more revenue on average after only three to six months.

“Perhaps counterintuitively, the greatest growth potential you have is in the areas where you are already strong,” says Debbie Whittaker, who worked at Standard Chartered during this time and is now an independent HR Consultant. “It’s a bit like polishing a gem.”

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.