Aaron Schwartz, Recruitment Evangelist at Indeed, explored what it takes to foster human connections with employees during his presentation to Argyle's CHRO membership at the 2017 Human Capital Leadership Forum in Dallas on December 6. In his presentation, "The Human Side of Hiring," Schwartz offered tips to help human resources professionals take a human-centric approach to recruitment and ensure companies can use human connections to differentiate themselves from the competition.
According to Schwartz, human connections sometimes get lost in the recruitment process. Although HR allocates substantial time and resources to attract top talent, they may struggle to effectively engage job applicants.
"Human resources is a human interaction," Schwartz stated. "We're supposed to be creating that [human] connection."
Furthermore, HR professionals may analyze a large collection of data to identify job candidates and determine whether to reach out to them. Yet HR professionals may be unlikely to assess "emotional" data to understand whether a job applicant is a strong fit for an organization.
"Often, we look into the data that we have … but I think we forget sometimes forget about the emotional data," Schwartz indicated.
The human connection is a difference-maker for HR professionals. If HR professionals understand how to build human relationships at each stage of the recruitment cycle, these may be better equipped than ever before to foster long-lasting partnerships with applicants. Plus, HR professionals can set the stage for successful partnerships that allow a company to differentiate itself from rivals and consistently attract and retain top talent.
"Help your current employees build communities. You are who you hire."
Human connections are crucial in successful work environments. If HR advocates for collaboration and learning, they'll encourage employees to work together to achieve common goals. As a result, HR professionals may be able to help workers build strong, healthy relationships with peers and transform ordinary work environments into exceptional ones.
"Having a friend or best friend makes people far more loyal to their missions and to their co-workers," Schwartz noted. "Sometimes, having a best friend is something that will keep a person at a company."
Strong social connections can have a positive impact on happiness and stress. Thus, HR professionals should do everything they can to empower workers to build social connections with one another.
"A lack of strong social connections is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day," Schwartz said. "On the other hand, healthy social relationships can have a positive impact on our health and happiness."
Purpose and human connection play important roles at each stage of the hiring process. Early in the hiring process, candidates evaluate fit and alignment with their passions and beliefs and begin to look for signs of trust. If HR professionals can engage job applicants and build trust, these professionals can deliver genuine human connections.
Ultimately, there are several ways that HR professionals can deliver a human experience to job applicants, and these include:
1. Create Value
HR professionals must find ways to create value throughout the recruitment cycle. That way, these professionals can develop successful work environments that are built on human connections.
"Help your current employees build communities," Schwartz stated. "You are who you hire."
2. Respond to Job Candidates As If They Are Your Most Important Customers
The right hire can make a world of difference for any company. As such, HR professionals should engage job applicants in the same way that a sales representative engages a top lead.
"In most companies, a top job application is probably worth more than a top sales lead," Schwartz pointed out. "A really good sales person can lead to thousands of sales … but I don't think most companies focus on that."
3. Let Recruiters Be Advocates for Talent
Recruiters have an opportunity to be forceful defenders of talent. They can build human connections and trust with job applicants and help top talent shine during the interview process.
"In most companies, a top job application is probably worth more than a top sales lead."
Providing job applicants with insights into the interview process is paramount. If recruiters can outline the interview process to job candidates, they could boost the likelihood of finding and retaining top talent.
4. Develop a Recruitment Process to Maximize the Human Connection
HR professionals must develop a recruitment process that emphasizes human connections. This process will enable HR professionals to engage with job applicants, listen to applicants' concerns and questions and provide outstanding support.
"The human connection starts before a job candidate meets the first employee," Schwartz said. "It goes everywhere into the apply and interview processes."
5. Use Data to Analyze the Human Connection
The only way to build a human candidate experience is to measure how candidates respond to the people and activities in a company's recruiting process. Therefore, HR professionals should analyze data closely to ensure they can discover the best ways to build human connections with job candidates.
As a Senior Manager with the Indeed Employer Insights Team, Aaron Schwartz leads a national team of Recruitment Evangelist's who pair platform data with industry trend analysis to share Indeed’s story and bring the value of the company’s programs and solutions to life. As an evangelist himself, he has helped hundreds of employers optimize their recruitment solutions and make the key hires they need to grow their businesses.
Aaron was a distinguished and award-winning member of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland and also served as a Sergeant in the Israel Defense Forces.