Communication During Recruitment

The story has come full circle and once again we’re discussing what is appropriate and what is not. This time we will discuss communication in recruitment. The subject is so extensive because certain dilemmas arise at first glance.

  • How to make first impression as a company, or rather as its representative
  • What to do when the candidate is older than me?
  • What if the candidate themselves start conversation and address me Ms. or worse, are extremely fond of a formal style?
  • In which language should I prepare my presentations? Maybe in English in general, this will solve our problem…

These and other “issues” will arise as soon as we decide to doubt our competence and if we do not have a proper strategy in place and the project called recruitment will then become a patchwork of actions copied from others. In his “Social and Interpersonal Communication Information Flow Channels” Alexander Gortat defined communication as

The process of transmitting information to each other. In the process, people get the information they need, communicate their own opinions, convince each other, come to an agreement (or not), and influence other people.

What is needed is mutual understanding and authenticity. Recruitment interviews should not be treated like a dispute between the prosecutor and the defence lawyer, where each party drags the court to its side during the trial. As they say in “Chyłka” tv series, this situation is not about the truth, but about who will win this duel of arguments.

Sequence matters

In order for the recruitment process to be structured, it is important to start by building a strategy based on objectives. It is obvious that the primary objective is to get an employee, but this is a bit too little if we want to talk about a strong procedure. In such situations, I put myself in the shoes of the other side. What I would like to see/hear, if I were a candidate.

When building our process, I first of all set myself the main objectives:

  • Shared vibe
  • Understanding the job
  • The way the company communicates
  • Shared or similar values
  • No rigid framework, understanding of diversity of personalities
  • Trust in expertise and space for own projects.

Develop a plan in line with your objectives

While we can consider the above as a roadmap, it is important to understand the essence of these points. I focus on naturalness, honesty and openness in building the process. The time of “it’s not appropriate,” “it’s not a good moment,” etc., is over. If we really want to know how employees are, encourage them not to be afraid to speak openly about what their needs are or what they are facing. As they say – what you give away comes back to you – and it is the same here. You expect honesty – be honest yourself.

Don’t pretend anything

What is the best test of whether a candidate will find themselves a place in the structure? Behave normally. Specify at the beginning that the company culture encourages informal address (“ty” in Polish). Avoid making exceptions as they add no value and potentially create awkward situations when trying to revert from this practice.

Do they all wear tracksuits? Don’t wear a shirt to interviews with candidates, well, unless you really feel like it. Believe when the other party feels the natural ecosystem, they will accept your offer more easily if they feel it is their vibe. Or the other way round – they will say it’s OK but too informal. I have also encountered this. I mean a refusal because we were too informal for one of the candidates. Is this a bad thing? No, it’s not! Different does not mean better or worse.

No plan is everlasting

Observe things change, especially generational needs. Nobody likes old chestnuts, and some may not even understand your point. Being 30+ years old, I can safely say that based on my observations, 20+ people do not necessarily understand what is obvious to me. Again – is this a bad thing? No, it’s not It’s just that it’s a bit of a different reality for me that I’m learning, trying to understand and communicate somehow. An open mind, readiness for change, evolution and even revolution. This is what we should be ready for as Recruiters.

It doesn’t always click for us

Admit how many times you’ve come across a candidate, even matching the profile of the person you were looking for, but you just felt that work in your team would be a struggle for them. You don’t have to answer out loud. Just realise the facts. If you care about long-term cooperation, this is a criterion that should be a must have when considering a particular person. What if you make an offer, that person accepts it (we don’t know whether fully convinced or not ), but after 2 months one of the parties, or both, but neither of them will say it, will just feel struggling. Of course, we can also assume the option that the already-hired employee will come to work to do their job and leave. Now, again, let’s take a step back to offer building – who you are really looking for and what matters most to the company/team.

Realistic need versus “it seems to me”

Just as we might criticize a candidate for agreeing with everything we say because they desperately need a job, let’s also consider whether our expectations are not lofty whims but real needs. Talk – if the candidate lacks skill – tell them about it. Firstly – it may not necessarily mean refusal, and secondly – if you leave a good impression and a sincere commitment behind you, they will learn and come back. Engagement in honest, full feedback can save you work in future recruitments, because the tailored candidate will come themselves.

Summary

Don’t be the classic “HR staff’ who steps into a role. During interviews, present the full scope of your ecosystem as possible, starting with your own slip-ups, the way you communicate and even dress code. Evaluation goes both ways, two parties make a decision, so it’s almost like when dating, let yourself be known from your natural side. For us, at least, it is the long-term relationships that count, and they are built on the truth.

text written by:

Aleksandra Lipowska-Rochalska, HR Director