In human resources and people management, we often forget that everyone is human. If you are a recruiter, you’re likely cycling through hundreds of résumés a day. It’s hard to look at each employee or candidate through an individual, more human-focused lens.
So, how can we better humanize our interactions under these circumstances? Doing so can only strengthen the experiences that people have with the companies that are interacting with. Here are a few quick ideas that we’ll delve deeper into during the coming days.
Ditch annual reviews. Yes, I said it. They are NEVER a positive experience, especially for your high-achievers.
You can imagine this scenario. You’ve likely been on one end or the other. An annual review is on the horizon and recency syndrome kicks in. An employee is evaluated based on a numerical scale and recent mistakes typically define the results. There is no accounting for the other 260 workdays with no major blunders.
Talk about a moral buster.
Humans are reduced to a Yelp rating scale, similar to the ramen shop around the corner. Instead of making it an annual event that everyone dreads, simply talk to your employee daily, weekly and let them know how they are doing. Address mistakes when they happen with solutions that can be immediately implemented!
I once had an employee that accidentally sent the entire payroll to the entire company. She walked into my office and said, “I will go ahead and resign, but here is what happened.” I responded with, “Let’s get IT and pull back what we can. You are not resigning, but figure out how it happened so you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Guess what? It never happened again. She was promoted the next review cycle, and I didn’t have to address the mistake.
Communicate better with candidates and about candidates. Why do we all have so much trouble giving feedback to candidates regarding decisions? Do you take someone on five dates and then ghost them?
What would happen if you provided feedback on perceived shortcomings from the interview process and gave them an opportunity to address them? The interview process can be very stressful! How many awesome employees are you missing out on because they didn’t shine as brightly as they could have? How many employees have you hired that put on a good show during the interview process, only to fail to live up to expectations once they were hired?
It’s something to think about.
Look beyond the résumé. I despise résumés and LinkedIn profiles. It is impossible to compile everything you have accomplished in five bullet points. I can not count the number of times I’ve almost ruled someone out because something specific was not on their résumé… only to have a conversation with them and discover they did have the experience I was looking for. Just last week, I needed someone with previous startup tech experience. One particular résumé I reviewed had all of the essentials, except this requirement. I decided to chat with them regardless. The prospect that I spoke to actually had startup experience, but didn’t list it. After a quick update to the résumé, they got the interview. Without that one-to-one conversation, we both would have missed out.
Another quick example happened this month… I found the ideal candidate for a client. After much back and forth they agreed to interview them, but stated “I typically would not interview this profile. They seem to have less than 6 months of coding experience.” In reality, this person had been coding since age 12 and currently spends their weekends on coding projects for themselves. No one is that granular on a brief résumé. Have a quick conversation and uncover the hidden gems!
There are definitely more ideas to cover in this series that I’m calling, “Be Human.” It always comes back to the Golden Rule of treating others as you would want to be treated. Each candidate, each employee… they are not just a number or the sum of their résumés. How might you tweak your processes to better emphasize human interaction, rather than falling back on “the way it’s always been done?”