Taking a Holistic Approach to Recruitment

See Pricing Plans Start Free Trial

by Lisa Ann Burke and BrightMove Recruiting Software and Employment Software

Many businesses based their recruitment efforts on a selective and sophisticated process whereby the company attempts to gage whether a potential employee has the requisite skill set and history of accomplishment to be effective in the open position.  However, there is a wealth or research which points to the fact that nearly 75% of new hires do not remain in their position after a three month period.  It is most often the case that new employee leave a company, not because of the job responsibilities in and of themselves, but because there is some type of disconnect between the suitability of the employee to the overall work environment.

The impact of this turnover to company costs is significant in terms of having to re-hire and re-train replacement staff.  Especially during recessionary periods, such as we are now experiencing, it is critically important to ensure, as much as possible, that your company has made the best match possible.

The fact that many employees leave a job based on factors having nothing to do with the job itself leads us to recognize that there need to be some additional factors weighed into the selection process, aside from traditional evaluation methods.

Other considerations  include:

  • Work behaviors and style: Does the candidate prefer a loosely structured or rigid work environment?
  • Values: Does the candidate share the overall values of the company; e.g.  is a given candidate team-oriented, do they value superior customer service, are they committed to putting in the necessary time and effort to get the job done successfully?
  • Motivation: Does the candidate show evidence of being motivated to perform the responsibilities of the position?   
  • Intellect:  Does the candidate possess the requisite “brain power” to perform the job successfully?

The degree to which each candidate possesses the factors noted above can be determined from the administration of pen and pencil, as well as online assessments. For guidance in designing these assessments, you can refer to several online testing resources commonly utilized by both hiring managers and recruiters.

Before you can design any assessment, there needs to be an analysis performed of what the position requires in terms of each of the factors noted above. Not all the factors will carry the same weight but the goal is to identify those which are most critical in ensuring a best-fit between candidate and the company in terms of culture and job responsibilities. For example, if the position is for a staff accountant, which by its nature is performed on a fairly routine and independent basis, you will not be too concerned with how much the employee values working as part of a team, or whether they prefer a rigid or loose work structure.

Once you have defined the parameters of the position, designed and administered the testing to viable candidates, the next step would be to analyze the results. You will want to note any areas where there is a clear match between the candidate and 1) the responsibilities of the position and 2) the overall company culture. It is equally important to note any areas of possible concern and be sure to weigh those into your decision-making process.

Although it is true that we tend to form an impression of someone within 15 seconds of meeting them, when it comes to recruitment, it is best to lay aside those first impressions and take a much more holistic approach to candidate evaluation. Many times lack of specific technical experience can be overcome by a candidate’s “willingness-to-learn” attitude, as well as having many of the same work values on which the company culture is based.

When a holistic recruitment method is utilized it will significantly improve the chances of hiring the “right’ candidate, which will then lead to overall better retention, in some studies by as much as 75 to 80 percent. This is due to the fact that the selection process includes testing of candidates for “rightness of fit” on a multi-dimensional basis, rather than being based solely on a review of past experience and skill set.

About Lisa Ann Burke

Lisa had been a full-cycle recuriter with a major staffing firm for five years and Career Coach for four. She transitioned into a full time writing career in 2009 and has composed a variety of material within the careers and human resource sectors for both print and online venues. She is also a contribuitng author for several career-related anthologies

Leave a Comment