Three Mindset Shifts for the Modern Recruiter

How do recruitment professionals adapt to changing times? There are three essential shifts recruiting teams must take to remain relevant, competitive and, most importantly, committed to clients’ successes.

Shift 1 – Recruiting Is Complex. Embrace It.

Recruiting is not just a numbers game; it’s also not just about relationships. It’s a complicated process that appeals to some as art and to others as science. And it’s always changing. These days, hiring teams are inundated with information and pressure to seek even more data about the job market, candidates, you name it. As we try to incorporate more perspectives, the common inclination is to reduce the process to something more humanly digestible, which means high-stakes decisions are too often made without the benefit of the full picture.

Instead of taking the steps to simplify, recruiters should embrace the complexity of this profession, work to synthesize, and commit to making the greatest use of the information available. The challenge for the next generation of recruiters is to design a hiring model that can support this new goal. To do so, we will need to shift in two more significant ways.

Shift2 – Think Like A Behavioral Scientist. 

Recruiters can’t operate in a vacuum. To be our best, we must pay attention to the latest findings and research from the outside world, especially from the behavioral sciences and what it says about decision-making.

Viewing the world through a behavioral science lens enables recruiters to take a scientific approach and to question the long-standing traditions that tend to keep the profession from advancing. For instance, behavioral scientists agree that our intuitions and instincts don’t always deserve the confidence we place in them.  We can’t continue to ignore that information. Recruiters need to be empowered to take a data-driven approach to work and to help steer clients away from the comfort of making decisions from the gut.

Another important way recruiting teams accomplish this is by incorporating and testing de-biasing techniques in pursuit of equitable recruitment practices. Studies show that we’re more likely to hire people who remind us of ourselves and that those with foreign-sounding names are less likely to be invited to an interview. One of our favorite resources on the matter is an extensive report, written specifically for hiring professionals by the Behavioural Insights Team, an organization of renowned applied behavioral economists.

It’s true that by embracing recruiting’s complexity and by taking a more evidence-based approach to search and selection, little time will be left for the mechanics of recruiting. So, there’s one more shift.

Shift 3 – Welcome The Latest Technologies.

With so little time left at the end of the day, the prospect of acquiring and learning new technologies sometimes seems unfathomable. The good news is that these are worth it.

Algorithms and artificial intelligence (A.I.) are now allowing hiring teams and recruiters an opportunity to catch their breath. Mya, the first artificially intelligent recruiting assistant is reducing workload while increasing candidate satisfaction one automated email at a time. As recruiters put more emphasis on creating a positive candidate experience, we finally have the communication tools to make it possible. Thanks to Mya’s help, candidates are three times more likely to receive a response from a recruiter.

New technological tools (take Restless Bandit, for instance) are lightening the administrative and the mental processing load for recruiters and are enabling us to be more strategic at hiring. Behavioral science has taught us the negative impacts of the all-too-common cognitive overload we experience: that with so much information on the table, decision-makers simply aren’t as effective. We have to take the data and perspectives we cannot begin to sift through ourselves and enlist the help of technology. Taking this last shift to leverage technology in support of what makes us human is the smart thing to do.

For many recruiting teams, the process of adopting these major shifts will require a great amount of reflection and commitment, but we believe that these improved outlooks will be what carry recruiters into successful, meaningful work alongside clients in the pursuit of the best candidates.

We invite you to explore these ideas further here on our blog and by visiting some of our favorite resources below:

Roy Notowitz

Roy is the Founder and President of Notogroup. Over the past 20 years, Roy has been a trusted talent acquisition adviser to hundreds of leading consumer products, technology, and non-profit organizations nationwide. Roy was a recipient of the Sporting Goods Business SGB 40 Under 40 industry award. He has written for, and addressed, groups such as the American Marketing Association, American Electronics Association, Gear Trends, and the Outdoor Industry Association on topics that include talent alignment, hiring trends, strategic staffing, relationship recruiting, employment branding, candidate experience, interviewing and selection.

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