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To Hire Is Human

Spam is everywhere!

It has escaped the confines of our email inboxes and now infringes on our lives through unsolicited text messages, phone calls, and targeted advertising to our devices.  And, what else signals a less-than-personal and human touch more than automated outreach?  

It’s exactly why it’s so hard to get connected with passive, top talent even if you are offering a positive, life-changing opportunity such as the next exciting step in their career.  It’s frustrating whether you are recruiting passive, top talent or even trying to contact an applicant because most people just don’t answer a phone call if they don’t recognize the number.  

According to The Guardian, the average office worker receives about 121 emails each and every day.

So, how do you cut through the noise to get connected with the highly-prized passive candidate?  recruiting firms

We address these issues and keep hiring human through Purpose-Driven Recruitment and you can do something similar. 

What does it mean to “recruit with purpose” 

It’s the belief that hiring and being hired is a big deal, especially for the person being hired.  When you have a key responsibility in the hiring process, it’s all about maintaining a sincere and persistent focus on the fact that this is an event that impacts the livelihood of the person being hired.  At Reveal, we view our roles as Purpose-Driven Recruitment Consultants as an honor and a privilege since we are allowed to play an instrumental role in careers and lives, albeit for a very short but pivotal moment in time. 

We never lose sight of this, and it’s why passive, top talent candidates engage with us, whom we then bring to our clients.  We’ve gathered hundreds of unsolicited compliments from candidates just over the past two years since we started capturing these quotes.  Here’s what one candidate had to say about their experience with us 

“This is the 3rd call with a recruiter I have had this month. The way you positioned and started the call was what caught my attention. Recruiters will generally start off by saying they have such and such opportunity and start the conversation off with salary and numbers and that isn’t always the most important thing for a person. You started the call with wanting to understand my goals and motivations and that’s what kept me on the call with you.” 

What ALL of us can do:  

Keep hiring human throughout the recruiting process. 

It’s increasingly easy to identify the top talent you seek but is equally as difficult to connect with them using traditional recruiting methods and approaches. Oh, the irony (and frustration)!  

The temptation for many recruitment consultants is to rely on technology too heavily in order to get noticed, get in contact, get the job filled, and (in recruiting firms) to get a fee. 

The problem with this?  It’s transactional, impersonal, and when you are dealing with the livelihood of another human being, who in the world would want to enter into such an important moment in their life with such a superficial first step?   

Almost all of us would prefer to do business with people whom we know, like, and trust.    So, how does this apply in a recruiting context? 

  • Know:  Show passive candidates that you are choosing to contact them because you have done your homework and you know that they appear to have the qualifications and characteristics necessary for success in the role.   
  • Like:  To be likable, be you.  Summon up some inspiration from those times in your life where you sought to be liked (think dating, impressing your boss, making a friend, etc.).  When you want to be liked, you take a genuine interest in the other person(s).  You make an effort to learn about them and listen to them.  Why would this change when you are attempting to be invited into a moment in the life of a reluctant candidate?
  • Trust:  When you know and like someone, trust really wants to follow.  Trust is about believing.  To me, you can trust someone who has the ability to succeed in a task or effort.  You also want to trust that someone will speak of you or handle things in a way you would approve – whether you are present or not.  Consistency is also key with either of these.    

As you move deeper into the Candidate Development stage with passive top talent, you need to find ways to keep them engaged as you work through the time-consuming processes of interview scheduling, gathering feedback, and assessments. 

I’ll share three favorite tools that we use here at Reveal to achieve this.  

recruiting firmsCrystal Knows is a very impressive and scary-accurate Chrome extension that analyzes the language that anyone chose to write their LinkedIn profile to render a DISC-like report of that person’s operating style The numerous options of “Playbooks” that you can produce include “Evaluating NAME for a job”, “Working with NAME”, “Getting to know NAME” and topics covered range from communication style, strengths, blind spots, working relationships, and others.  

At Reveal, we often generate a “Working with NAME” playbook of and for the hiring manager and one of and for the candidate.  We ask each person to review this very light report and comment on what is agreeable or disagreeable and then provide a copy of both to the hiring manager and the candidate.  We encourage them to ask probing questions of each other about how their operating style“show up” during an average workday.  For instance, one might ask, “I see that your Crystal Knows report states that you may have a potential blind spot regarding a tendency to be overly brief in communication.  Assuming you agree with this, can you tell me whether you have found this to be a problem when leading a team?” 


The second tool is one that I created during my years in corporate talent acquisition which I refer to as an Incumbent Interview.  The concept here is that there is a great deal of value in hearing what potential, future colleagues might have to say about their experience and views of working in the group.  However, this usually doesn’t occur until the end of the interview process.

With the Incumbent Interview, you ask each member of the group four key questions and capture a one or two-sentence response from each person, and then consolidate all comments into a single document.  Ask each member of the immediate team the following four questions:  recruiting firms

  1. Why did you come here (or to this role)?
  2. Why do you stay or come back every day? 
  3. What challenges do you face and how does leadership or the company help you overcome them? 
  4. What do you want anyone who may be considering a role with our team/company to know so that they can make an informed decision? 

We consolidate all responses for our company into a document called “Why Reveal?” and offer a short explanation of how and why the document was created and shared with them.  Then, the document is offered to the passive (or active) candidate during the first, introductory conversation.  It helps to explain that hearing the opinions of the people in the group about their perspectives is a standard expectation and we just find that it is best to provide this information at the very beginning of the process.  


The third tool is really the heart of Purpose-Driven Recruitment™ for us, it’s a document called “Considering Your Career Drivers” and it represents the five major areas that all of us who look forward to a paycheck find to be important.  However, the level of importance and how each is defined is unique to the individual.  Those five areas are: 

  1. Compensation and Benefits 
  2. The meaning or the impact of the work 
  3. The environment in which we work 
  4. The opportunity for personal and professional growth 
  5. The leadership and management surrounding me 

Each of these five areas have multiple topics under each of them and we are happy to provide a copy of this document and samples of the other tools mentioned here by simply contacting us to request them. 

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