Emotion vs. reason: which one will decide your next career move? At GSoft, we recognize that people tend to base big decisions on emotional factors. That’s why we’ve decided to appeal to the hearts of prospective employees. After all, candidate expectations have changed. A job isn’t just about getting paid and climbing the social ladder anymore. Today, people want to work in a place that promotes wellbeing, gives them a sense of accomplishment and allows them to develop meaningful relationships.
Most of us try to rationalize decisions, but there’s no denying that emotions have a major influence on the choices we make. Whether you’re considering getting married starting a family or buying a house, both rational and emotional factors will come into play.
And while this truth is widely accepted for personal matters, it’s rarely acknowledged for work-related issues. “The professional sphere has been dehumanized,” says Florian Pradon, Candidate Experience Manager at GSoft. “It’s as though people choose their jobs based solely on the salary, the job title and associated social status, the hours and travel time. But we know that people actually rely on their gut feeling when deciding whether or not to accept a position.”
This explains why GSoft has decided to offer candidates–right from the recruitment stage–a human experience that reflects the company’s work environment.
“Today’s employers aren’t just looking for people with a specific set of skills to fill a static job description. Instead, we want people who can solve complex problems in a continually changing environment,” says Florian.
Focusing on productivity and technical skills is a throwback to the industrial era when employees had to perform specific repetitive tasks. And although this approach was necessary then, the needs of organizations have changed, making it important to inject a human element into the recruitment process and concentrate on the relationship.
“In a service-dominated economy, employers expect employees to be team players who can collaborate with colleagues, suppliers and clients,” explains Florian. But many recruiters are slow to catch on to the new reality.
The traditional recruitment process, which was designed to meet the employer’s needs only, is still very common. As a result, companies often select candidates who bring clearly defined skills to the table, without considering each candidate’s unique qualities, motivations and aspirations. These recruiters typically look for indicators of past success in a person’s career by asking where they studied, who they have worked for, and what positions they held.
Martine, a new hire at GSoft, shares her thoughts: “At most companies, the hiring process is pretty formal, almost mechanical. It’s like a dance. If you practice enough and learn all the right moves, you can master the art of the interview.” As a result, traditional job interviews don’t do a good job of revealing a candidate's personality and can prevent recruiters from seeing past the minimum criteria for the job.
“This idea that an employee can replicate the success he or she had elsewhere is largely outdated because the context is different for each job—and the differences between work environments are only increasing,” says Florian. In these conditions, how can recruiters establish a genuine dialogue with a candidate and lay the groundwork for collaboration?
Recruiters need to switch from a transactional approach to a conversational one. Dialogue is the only way for an employer to get a real sense of a candidate's personality and what they’re looking for in a job.
To get the conversation going, the recruiter has to come across as an advisor, not an evaluator. Their role involves establishing trust and putting the candidate at ease in the hopes of creating a positive emotional experience. Instead of looking for the candidate’s flaws, you want to see their true colours. “At GSoft, our goal at interviews is to understand where the person is at, both in terms of their current job search and in their career overall. Of course, we also want to find out where they’d like their career to take them,” says Florian. “The other purpose of the interview is to let them know what issues and challenges the company is facing. Generally, candidates appreciate our transparency and it often gets them to open up more.”
Martine agrees, saying: “When I was interviewed, I was impressed by dialogue. Everyone participated and I never felt like I was being put under the gun to see if I could take the pressure. They were frank in answering all my questions. That’s when I knew that this was somewhere I wanted to work.”
Genuine, empathetic conversation helps employers get a better picture of who they’re interviewing, while giving them the chance to explain the company values. While openness and trust are important during the recruitment phase, these factors become absolutely essential once an employee starts working for the firm.
At home and at work, personal wellbeing is largely dependent on our relationships with others. “Complex problems can only be solved by teams,” states Florian. “And yet, it’s impossible to predict how an employee will interact with others. You only find that out once the individuals actually start working together.” To get around this, GSoft has started using “work samples,” in which the candidate is invited to participate in a brainstorming session with future colleagues. The candidate is thrown into a real work situation with their future coworkers and given the chance to resolve issues related to the position they’re applying for.
This participative and collaborative approach is helpful because you can see how the candidate behaves in a simulated work session. You get a new perspective on the applicant and the team dynamics, allowing you to see if it lines up with what they said during the interview. Prospective employees have responded very positively to the approach: “Saying you’re open to questions is one thing,” says Martine, “but responding with an open mind is much more important. In my experience, the work sample allowed me to make sure I really wanted to join the company.”
It’s obvious that a top-down approach to recruitment is no longer necessary. In fact, it’s counter-productive. At GSoft, we hope to take the recruitment process to the next level and make it into a collaborative experience that’s enriching for everyone, regardless of the outcome.
Since I am passionate about everything that involves the human experience, I find inspiration in anthropology, sociology and psychology. What I like most about my job is sharing ideas with my colleagues. Our conversations continually challenge my beliefs. At the end of the day, my goal is to help improve our relationship with work so that my son inherits a world that is more thought-provoking, fulfilling and meaningful.
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