How authenticity can save your hiring budget from evaporating

January 29, 2024

AI’s magic bullet for hiring isn’t so magical

Hiring today is a mess. It’s noisy for hiring managers and inhuman for candidates. Ghosting, bad hires, one-star GlassDoor reviews are all part of the new normal and it’s costing us dearly. In a race to fix hiring, tech startups need only whisper “AI” and investors flock. And today we see a hiring marketplace flooded with AI resume writing tools, job ads built by AI, AI bots finding and applying to jobs, or sourcing talent, or shortlisting applicants.

Unfortunately, AI is introducing more noise and more risk as bad hires leverage AI to sneak through the hiring process only to be discovered as unqualified after onboarding.

There’s a simpler way to hire that drops the risk considerably. Authenticity in hiring builds genuine connections between candidates and employers that not only save companies thousands from bad hires but also build resilient teams and stronger cultures for innovation as companies grow.

A new demand for authentic hiring from job hunters

The most searched word of 2023 on Merriam Webster [link] was “Authentic”. Job hunters, fed up with being ignored 3 out of 10 applications, or ghosted after 70% of interviews, have been clamouring for transparency, honesty, and humanity in hiring. They crave a connection, but rather than giving them feedback or acknowledgement, companies give them an automated response seconds after submitting their application “after careful consideration, we decided you are not qualified…”

What does Authenticity in Hiring accomplish?

Authentic hiring creates a genuine connection between the hiring company and candidate. It aligns personal values, beliefs and behaviours with the ethos of a company. It’s as simple as recognizing that people are people, not just a bullet list of skill sets, or a tick box of requirements. In fact, there’s a wave of hope that, amidst a a world of AI and bots, that Authenticity is key to reducing the expensive noise in today’s recruiting.

It all comes down to building genuine connections between people looking for work and people looking for talent.

By going deeper than the resume, authentic hiring can reveal character, values and unique qualities that may or may not align with the company. Identifying these early on as a potential contribution to the success of an organization puts more emphasis on authenticity while hiring.

After all, people’s experiences and personalities contribute to the success of an organization. Looking beyond our own personal biases may be a challenge at times, but bringing toxic employees to the organization, a very expensive retention problem with good employees down the road, usually comes when overlooking character during the hiring process.

A resume is a wonderful introduction, but it doesn’t explain the WHY.  Being a VP for 8 different companies in 8 years may be impressive but it also may be a red flag. A gap may make hiring managers nervous, but it also may mean a new hire is refreshed and mentally capable of a challenge. Digging into those questions early on, asking why, helps identify fit far better than any ATS ever could.

The benefits of authentic hiring outweigh the costs of a toxic workplace

  • Authentic hiring enhances employee engagement by allowing employees to bring their true self to work without fear of judgement people are more engaged when they are themselves
  • It encourages stronger team dynamics by embracing diverse skills, backgrounds and perspectives. The old adage that 2 heads are better than one, only works when those 2 heads bring unique perspectives to a problem.
  • And it improves retention rates by weeding out toxicity more effectively because employees feel more valuable, more heard, and more part of an organization that genuinely values them

Strategies for Authentic Hiring

  • Be transparent from the job ad through to the interviews. Hiding the salary in a job ad is not only a deterrent to good candidates, it’s also illegal in parts of Canada and the US. Communicate honestly, showcasing the values & goals of the company, and the expectations of the team. And at the same time, invite the candidates to communicate their personal values, goals and expectations. Tip: Treat it like a conversation rather than an inquisition.
  • Behavioural interviewing is about delving into soft skills and personal experiences. The best approach is curiosity over pointed questions, because honey is more attractive than vinegar - at least for a sweet tooth like me it is. What you may learn are how values align between the candidate and the company.
  • An Inclusive Hiring Practice encourages diverse backgrounds that bring innovation with the two heads are better than one idea. To do this successfully companies have to identify and discourage bias and that starts with a hiring panel that is diverse itself.
  • Employee testimonials help candidates affirm the type of values and goals that align with their own making a job more attractive, or not. Which is a bullet dodged for both parties. One way is to showcase the current team in the interview or an office tour. But a glass door link from the job ad itself (especially if it’s not a hot mess of toxicity) would kick start the authentic connection with those candidates who do apply.
  • Inviting Job ad feedback right off the job ad is a brilliant one way to meet candidates way before a formal interview. Having a feed backing button or field helps employers see the perspective of the candidate immediately, add context to their application and resume, and build a genuine understanding.
  • Similarly Constructive Feedback to Candidates on their resume, their application, and their interest in the job is one more way to kick off a conversation. Not only does it improve your brand reputation while hiring, but it kicks off an authentic relationship.

The unsung hero of hiring

Authentic Hiring is a necessary but also a very beautiful paradigm shift that spotlights humanity in the professional world, the H of HR. Not only does it cut risk and costs, it will help build resilient teams, foster innovation, and create workplaces that empower people to thrive. As we embrace authenticity in hiring, we embrace innovation, meaningful connections and growth as organizations and individuals.

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