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What does recruitment look like?

Fundamentally, in 21st Century Orgs, responsibility for recruitment and selection lies with the people that a candidate(s) will work alongside. It is deemed too personal a task to reallocate to a different group of people (e.g. a centralised department). If an HR type function exists, then the recruiting team might take advice (or even receive some training) on candidate selection, but the team (not HR) will very much lead the process.

As with before, a candidate’s experience and skill are under consideration but once beyond a fairly basic level of competence, far more emphasis is put on the candidate’s understanding of, and commitment to, the organisation’s purpose. The dominance of “skill evaluation” and even the approach to “cultural fit” that exists within the status quo leads to a far more standardised workforce and, in turn, minimal diversity of thought. Roles tend to be more fluid and there is a trust in employees’ motivation to up-skill where they need to.

As the primary concern is about establishing a commitment to the communal purpose and values, there are several important differences in this process:

Taking time 

Finding the right people takes time - often far more time than the traditional process - but will save energy and money in the long-run.

Being open and honest

Present a true picture of your organisation with no glossing over; what is it really like to work there? If candidates know this up-front both parties start their working relationship from a place of authenticity, one that allowed the candidate to make an informed decision and doesn’t find themselves “mis-sold”.

A friendly atmosphere

Encouraging candidates to be their authentic selves is vital; putting people at ease so they can share their real selves and not the version they think recruiters want to see.

Interacting with colleagues

Candidates should spend time alongside the people they will be working with and within the wider community, they may form part of. This may even take the shape of being involved in the actual work, not just meet-and-greets.

Reflection and assessment

There is likely to be a long trial period giving both sides the opportunity to reflect. New recruits frequently receive substantial onboarding programmes. Some offer incentives for candidates who withdraw during the trial period in order to filter out those who might lack commitment to the organisation itself.

No targets

There are no recruiting objectives - if someone is needed, then it is put forward by the person who believes there to be a need. The person making this suggestion, and then leading the process of finding them, will not necessarily be in a HR or management role.

Upfront investment

In the status quo, a  huge amount of budget is invested into “changing employees”. 21st Century Orgs see this is one of the areas where the budget is misallocated within the status quo. They believe a significant portion of that investment is far better allocated into the recruitment and onboarding process than it is attempting to fix people downstream.

The type of monitoring

Any centralised governance over the localised recruitment process should help ensure diverse and adaptable teams, not efficiency and standardisation, The belief that a great workforce can be built piece by piece (person by person) - just as a mechanic would build a car - is not the 21st Century philosophy.

Fewer promises

The status quo recruitment process sells an organisation to a candidate by offering them a series of protections or promises - such as career development. 21st Century Orgs minimise this; they recognise they can’t make these promises authentically and that the person’s career is their responsibility, not the organisation’s. The willingness is to pay and promote as much as possible, but it just isn’t promised.

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  1. John Featherby

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