What does it even mean to be innovative in the HR world today? Is it introducing more technology into the business, or is it really trying to understand the connection between people and the organization? Or maybe it is just a balance of both of those things. But how do you prioritize to ensure the best possible solutions for all parties involved?
In order for HR to be innovative and maintain a seat at the table, we have to be open to new ideas and new concepts — ideas and concepts that could possibly be seen as untraditional, unstructured or just plain unorthodox. As an HR professional and/or manager, how do you stay innovative and ensure that you are attracting and retaining top talent?
Let me guess: It starts with your recruitment process. The recruiting process likely entails a series of interviews, asking some serious knock-out questions for candidates and overall determining fit based on your knowledge of the organization. And all of that sounds great; however, I would propose a process with little less structure. Yes, less — that allows the interviewer to be themselves and the candidate as well.
I believe the recruitment process should be about making a connection for all parties involved. Often, we make the recruitment process about the organization and never get real insight as to what the other person's "why" is. Instead, we focus on the schedule and the process of elimination in order to secure the right people. I would challenge my fellow HR professionals and managers to try something new that gives you an overall better insight into candidates.
My recommendation is to put aside the interview questions that look and feel like this:
• Tell me about a situation when ...
How do you handle stress?
• What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
• Tell me about a time when ...
Let’s be honest: Most candidates have been rehearsing the answers to these questions for years. Preparation for almost everyone is about fine-tuning answers to the typical and most-asked interview questions. It is time to start focusing on people as individuals during the interview process.
The easiest way to make a connection is to simply start with the classic, "Tell me about yourself" and let that guide the conversation for the interview. Put on your active listening ears, and engage from there. This allows you as the HR professional and/or manager to truly be present and tap into your intuition. It gives you the opportunity to make a decision that supports the organization's values and the individual's values as well.
Now I know you are probably thinking: What makes this process fair when I’m not asking each candidate the same questions? Is the process really fair at all once we start to making judgments and insert our own biases to arrive at a final decision anyway?
It’s a new day to try something that allows for meaningful connections that ultimately create the best situations for all parties involved. There is a lot of power associated with being connected to the people around you and allowing space for great synergies. When you are able to create great synergies, it makes room for better collaboration and a bigger impact, which ultimately supports the organization's bottom line.