What is Character Driven Recruitment?

A human’s character is defined by their mental and moral qualities. Or more relevantly in an HR capacity it is what is behind their personality and behavior. It is the foundation of Who They Are (not how they behave, where they come from, who they date or what they wear). It is their pillars: things like integrity, humility, fairness, empathy, love, courage, justice. The Character Ethic is a well-worn adage of Stephen R Covey and his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

And we as recruiters and hiring managers need to focus on the Character Ethic over the perilous Personality Ethic.

Let’s quickly look at our evaluative recruitment process. Recruiting is and always will be a process of elimination, requiring some element of judgement or “discrimination” to separate the winner from the rest. What matters is the basis for that elimination, judgement & discrimination.

It’s 2019 so we hope, nay expect a mature level of open-mindedness & unbias on the basis of gender, age, race, location, ethnic origin etc etc and I will for the sake of time ASSUME that we are all on the same page and are operating as equal opportunity employers. I for one believe someone’s age, gender, orientation etc is none of my business. Individual bias and neuroscience are the subjects of article 2 of this series.

SO what are we (as enlightened Character Driven Recruiters) basing our choices of people on?

In recruitment there really should be only ONE basis of evaluation: How successful will this person be at the job in hand?

So how can you tell that?

By digging deeper into their character. Into their soft skills. Into what motivates them and makes them happy and committed contributors. By getting to know them. By seeing them and hearing them. And really listening.

Nik Plevan at e-Talent has spent the last 8 years digging into what characteristics indicate success at various jobs and building a tool that tests candidates for these soft skills. In other words, what does it take to be a successful Salesperson? Tenacity? Energy? Persistence? Or what does it take to be a successful Accountant? Attention to detail? Knowledge and understanding of Economic Theory? Or a successful Teacher? Or Retail Sales Rep? Or Nurse? And so on.

Different characteristics make for success at different jobs.

Now you can pick the job you’re looking for and get the applicants to take a clever and science driven test to ascertain exactly what soft skills they have that will or will not make them successful at this role. And there’s an added bonus: there’s an Honesty Worm in there so no lies allowed.

Once you have a shortlist of those candidates who passed the test for the role in a nice aggregated applicant tracking system, you can then See Them giving a 30-second pitch on a video via an Intro30 API. So you can see how they present themselves, articulate themselves, and, yes, sell themselves (as all jobs require an element of sales).

You’ve now got a pretty good idea of who that person is. Plus – as a result of their test answers, in another clever widget, you’re given some hints as to the kind of questions to ask in a full competency based interview to dig into any weak areas and get the best out of them.

The chances of making a hiring mistake when you have all this information (1 in 4 recruits last less than a year) are greatly reduced.

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