Why Candidate Stories Are Key to Improving Your Hiring Process

Create the Interview Process Candidates Will Value and Meet Your Business Needs

24 April 2016

Image source: PixabayImage source: Pixabay

The Power of Storytelling

Recruiters and HR Practitioners you may be in danger of sliding into comfortable complacency.

You could be at risk of missing a real opportunity to help grow your business.

Our close friends in Marketing have already seized this opportunity.  Quick smart, they have grasped the power of storytelling.

Take a closer look and see how they use storytelling to enhance the customer experience at every touch point of the customers’ contact with the organisation’s brand.

It is true that great strides have been made in recruitment marketing. The employees’ experiences and their unique stories are being used to great effect in internal and external employer brand messaging across traditional and digital media.

You are off to a good start in recruitment marketing. We discovered a great example of this when we hacked into DreamJobbing for TOMS’ Dream Job Recruitment Campaign. We were spoilt rotten by the amount of innovative and engaging ideas. But in the end we picked 7 Wildly Ingenious Ideas to Positively Transform your Hiring Process.

But HR, you may still need to play catch up. Now is not the time to rest.

Rest now and you will be in danger of falling into a Rip Van Winkle snooze.

When you finally wake up, you may find yourself lost in an unfamiliar world that has progressed without you.

Take a moment and answer these 2 questions.

  • When was the last time you thoroughly reviewed your interview process to ensure relevance to the business needs?
  • How long has it been since you updated your interview process to ensure that is still a key to unlocking the value (hidden) in candidates?

THAT long?

Don’t let your interview process become an obsolete laughing stock.

Not sure where to start?

Don’t worry, here is a quick jump-start.

Previously, in The HR Rabbit Hole we dipped into 6 Shakespeare Inspired Quotes to Help You Improve your Interview Process.

In this week’s post, we continue to explore how to transform your candidate interview process into a valuable process that contributes to growing the business.

Is Your Interview Process In Need of An Uplift?

Before you start tinkering with your interview process; it is important to understand the real-world context in which the process will need to deliver results.

Here is a little food for thought and fuel for action.

Our world has changed irreversibly. The axis of power has shifted from satisfying the company’s demands as a priority. Meeting the customers / employees’ expectations of your product and service is the primary focus. This is the reality in which businesses operate today. Sign of the times!

“Increasingly our customers want to know that they are supporting businesses that care. They want to feel like their ideals and needs were considered, not merely leveraged in order to make money.” Meaningful: The Story of Ideas that Fly – Bernadette Jiwa.

Ignore this at your peril.

People want to feel heard, seen and cared for. They want work that makes them feel fully human and less of a ‘human capital asset’. Employees want to be seen and treated as individuals. They want to join a community and rally behind an idea or mission that is in tune with their own values and ideals.

Can your interview process and employment offering meet this expectation?

These times demand different interviewing skills.

If business leaders are asking people to bring their authentic selves to work, the focus of the typical candidate interview has to change.

In the new-style interview, roles have switched. The interviewer and the company’s story are NOT the main feature; it is the candidate and their yet-to-be-shared story.

The candidate is the storyteller. The interviewer must skilfully find the right question keys to unlock the (relevant) value in the candidate’s story.

The process follows a different path. The interviewer must go far beyond the typical qualifications, skills and experience criteria found in the Resumé / CV or Job Description.

At this point the interviewer’s sole purpose is to tease out the candidate’s hopes, fears, aspirations and (hidden) talents.

The rapid fire interrogation style interview will not cut it anymore. This style sets the tone of an exam, where the candidate has already revised the questions and now looking to pass the test. The emphasis is on how good the interviewer and the interviewee are at playing the game.

Instead, the interviewer must create the atmosphere for a meaningful and genuine conversation. In fact, what you want is an open dialogue that goes deeper to encourage the candidate to reveal the answer to these 4 questions:-

“Who Are You?”

“What is your story?”

“What and how are you willing to contribute to grow the business?”

“How can we learn from each other?”

The interviewer’s new role is that of a Story Connector. Once the candidate has shared their values, strengths, interests and aspirations for personal growth; the interviewer must next carefully align and connect the candidate’s story with the organisation’s purpose.

The true skill of the interviewer’s artistry is best demonstrated when there is a near perfect match between the candidate’s personal purpose and those of the organisation. This connection sets the stage for improved levels of employee engagement that serves to help both the employee and the organisation develop and grow.

  • Are candidate stories important in making hiring decisions?
  • How are you using storytelling and employee stories in your organisation?
  • What are the most creative and successful ways you know of storytelling being used by HR?

Please share your thoughts and experience in comments. I would love to read them.

Come back next week when I will share the steal-worthy fresh interviewing techniques I found when adventuring outside of the HR discipline.

Until we meet again down the HR Rabbit Hole…


Inspiration Sources for this Post

Meaningful: The Story of Ideas that Fly – Bernadette Jiwa

The Purpose Economy – Aaron Hurst

The Crossroads of Should and Must – Elle Luna

Of course, you are very welcome to share, use, and draw inspiration from any material posted. When doing so please let us continue to attribute, credit and honour the originators, creators or sources of the material as a mark of respect to their craft.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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