AI with Auntie Iris the crafty recruiter

Auntie is always watching silently, but helpfully. She never criticises, but if you ask her, she will sometimes surprise you with her wisdom.

Recruitment ought to be simple. A firm wants to hire, there are people out there suited to the role, its just a matter of finding them. If only.

The reality is quite different. It begins with why the firm wants to hire, it may be a replacement for Jim, or another Jim for example. In that case Jim, with little r maybe no knowledge of it, plays a vital role in the process, often a detrimental one.
Why, you may well ask, is Jim to blame?  Well ,he’s not personally to blame, but the problem is that for his manager and or the HR person to work out what another Jim will be like, will unwittingly involve making guesses as to why it is that Jim gets the job done and everybody trusts him.
It might well be, for example, that Jim is not quite as good as they think, but he’s a lovely guy who engenders trust and everyone is happy with that. Why knock a good thing, cherish Jim, but is it wise to use his qualifications, the skills you assume he’s using and other Jim qualities to look for a colleague for him? It may work out, but it might also be that the one skill or quality that compensates for Jim’s weaknesses just happens to be missing in your candidates.
Its tough to recruit for a role you’ve never done yourself and very easy to arrive at poor assumptions, so we all make these mistakes. This is why its great to have someone by your shoulder observing quietly and as your friend, not your boss. That little friend would Auntie.

Auntie is the kind of friend that quietly, when nobody else is listening, asks you awkward questions or shows you a chart of the number of times you have potentially made the mistake you seem destined to repeat right now.

She may for example point out that you’ve ruled out 85 candidates for x when really you have no evidence for that and we have good people who turned out to have X.
She may remind you that you always try to get a good level of Y, but in reality, Y has never proved itself important and the performance of those candidates was less than impressive, maybe you should reconsider.

After you’ve been working with her for a while, Auntie will begin to notice the qualities that your successful people do have but are not mentioned in your recruitment requirements and she may suggest a few changes to your screening questions or tests.

Little, by little, Auntie will help you to refine your recruiting performance and improve the end results, just by being there, unruffled and asking sometimes non-obvious questions.

Then there’s the  case of hiring a John when you have never hired, been, or even known a John and you are left hoping for a little luck. This too, is a regular scenario and surprisingly perhaps, it is less troublesome to the external recruiter, because at least, there’s a clean sheet to begin from.
Unfortunately, the recruiter often is no better clued up that your own staff, because her role is recruitment and that’s enough of a challenge for most of us mortals.
Auntie can help here also, because she has probably been helping other firms to recruit John and if not she at least has standard templates to begin with s that she can suggest questions to ask yourself and guide you towards a good requirement. If your recruiter is experienced and has paid attention to the training he/she will also now how important it is to remain flexible and learn form the candidates you screen.   Let’s be clear, however, all this assistance from Auntie is much more likely to  be important when you take on the higher paid roles and if you use the Findem™ model to fill manual and short-term roles, you always have the option to give them a try-out and learn for yourself.

Sources of information that Auntie uses

Auntie reads thoroughly through all job requirements and makes notes, sometimes she asks questions to ensure she is understanding right.
She then looks very closely at agreed interview questions or online questionnaires sued in the recruitment process. Again she will ask questions to ensure that she understands. This is when Auntie is learning rather than helping so its important to help her as much as you can.
She usually looks for records you may have requested from the client about performance reviews or other assessments of the performance of previous employees in the role and if available, she read and will ask about exit interviews.
She always begins from the standard templates we have developed for different roles to be starting point for recruiters, especially when new to a particular type of role. These templates are updated from time to time as the environment changes and as we learn more and are a great place to start form if you are not ale=ready experienced. Auntie always uses them as a point of reference to ensure we have not missed any key points.

The scope of material she can use is something you have to agree with the client, but the more you can show her the more useful she will become.

She will then analyse interview reports and will help you prepare feedback questionnaires form the client. You are always in charge, so never worry that she will become a liability.
The benefit of working with Auntie is that she has time to think and worry about stuff that you are too busy for, plus she doesn’t sleep so she can do a lot of thinking and sometimes her ideas can be really helpful.

The benefits we usually see form working with Auntie.

  • She encourages better communication with clients and their stakeholders.
  • She helps us to correctly identify and communicate the important requirements of each role and to verify that they are important and help us understand why. This is a powerful tool in making better screening decisions.
  • She keeps track of what did or did not appear to work in the past and suggests new things to try.