Personable Not Personal Is the Way to Recruit

Julie Shenkman
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If you are responsible for recruiting new employees, you must walk a fine line between being personable and getting personally involved with applicants. Most recruiting tactics require you to be friendly, but you have to make the needs of your company a priority. If you develop personal relationships with candidates, there is a chance those relationships will cloud your judgment. Follow these recruiting tips to ensure you make the best hiring decisions for your organization.

Using automated software to screen resumes is a good way to avoid becoming personally involved with one or more candidates. Many software packages are available to search cover letters and resumes for specific phrases, eliminating the need for you to review resumes manually. If you use an automated program, you have a better chance of identifying candidates that meet all of the minimum requirements for the job. Using automated systems is also one of the recruiting tactics that make hiring less time consuming and costly.

When you interview a candidate, avoid sharing too much personal information. You should be friendly, but you don't need to talk about your children or your hobbies unless they directly relate to the open position in some way. If you have a lot in common with a candidate, it's difficult to look at that person's skills and job history objectively. Consider using common recruiting tactics such as panel interviews or interviews with potential colleagues to ensure you have a well-rounded view of each candidate.

One of the newest recruiting tactics to affect the hiring process the use of video interviews. Skype and similar software programs make it easy to interview candidates who live in other states or countries, reducing your recruiting expenses and giving you an opportunity to broaden your candidate search. Another benefit of video interviewing is that it is easier to concentrate on work-related topics. When you interview someone in person, it's easy to start talking about personal subjects, which is something you should avoid if you want to make an impartial decision. Following other recruiting tips can also help you avoid getting too personal with candidates.

A great way to reduce the amount of personal contact you have with candidates is to make resources available on your company website. The more information you make available to potential employees, the fewer questions you will have to answer about working for your organization. Because job seekers often research potential employers ahead of time, publishing this information is also a good recruiting tactic. Talented people are more likely to contact your company if they feel confident the culture and values are a good fit for them.

Whether you use tried-and-true recruiting tactics or strategies that are relatively new, you should always focus on hiring the best employees for your organization. If you make a personal connection with a candidate, ask a colleague to finish the interview process so you can avoid making a biased decision.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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