The humanist approach: key to success in recruiting - part I

The humanist approach

We are living in a digital era and we are already dealing with digital recruitment, especially with social media recruitment. We are talking about the mobile job seeker and we are using online recruiting tools and software, intended to make our lives and jobs easier and speed up processes. There are no walls, no borders, and no limits in terms of self –accomplishment on a global scale. The world of recruiting shifts so dramatically and fast that the job application process - including interviews - can now be completed online, in a few minutes. However, something important might be missing here: the human interaction. Physical, emotional, rational and basic human interaction. So, I’ll assume the risk to raise this question: is digital recruitment more successful in finding the talent that you need in order to bring your business up to the next level? Or is it enough to focus on it?


Maybe it sounds a little bit old-fashioned talking about human approach, which means merely talking about potential, growth, positive view on human nature, interpersonal communication and stuff like that, as a secret ingredient in finding, attracting and retaining talents, but I assume this, too.

The truth is… recruiting becomes social and dependent on technology and a modern recruiter must know how to initiate and handle social media dialogues, to manage viral messages, what channels to choose, for which target and what content to upload. Some companies are taking recruiting via social media so seriously, that they hired specialized workers dedicated solely to recruiting employees via social networking sites or created videos on You Tube “career channel” presenting the company, its success stories, its developing plans, its values, vision and mission, thus giving potential candidates an insight beyond the closed doors. This implies also creativity, inspiration and the courage to open yourself to the world and be vulnerable in a certain way, let's say in an emotional way. Personally, I like this approach and I promote it. Because...


I firmly believe that emotional intelligence should play an important role in the HR strategic plans of every company, especially in the talent management processes, that emotions should be integrated into the working life of every employee and not be hidden under the keyboard or left outside, at the magnetic doors.  Because people aren't just interested in how much money they're going to make – they want to know who they'll be working with, what's the environment like, what lies behind the slogans, values and mission of that company, what kind of future is expecting them there, how their work will be valued and assessed, in what way the work-life balance will be ensured… Nowadays you have to tell a story, if you want to receive attention: “the begging hand, who is not telling a story, does not receive anything”. (Filantropica, 2002). The more emotional the story of your company, the more attention you get, and the masterpiece movie Filantropica still teaches us about this after 10 years since it entered into our minds and hearts. And if you combine it with social media… Now that’s indeed a recipe for success!


Figures are impressive, I agree, a whopping 30% of all Google searches are employment related, a study conducted in Aberdeen found that an outstanding 73% of 18-24 year olds found their last job online through a social network, 73% of job applications have been successfully filled through the uses of social media, etc. However, the most successful recruiter will have to develop not only sales and social media skills but also an understanding of personality typology, personality traits, thinking patterns and learning&development styles theories and apply them in various recruiting phases. And for that, there are available plenty of concepts and tools as aids to understanding overall personality, preferences and strengths, like the Multiple Intelligencesconcepts and VAK (or VARK or VACT) learning styles models, among many others, which offer relatively simple and accessible methods to understand and explain people's needs, motivations and behavioral patterns. Because knowing this might allow organizations to match people to jobs that they were not only qualified for, but which would give them the most satisfaction as well and guarantee long term collaboration. Collaboration and co-creation are the tools of humanism and are indeed more efficient in the nowadays business environments than competition and self-centered approach. Of course, the currently available technologies remain the humble companions to implement new ideas and solve current problems while the rational and emotional are ingredients in a useful framework of expression and experience, that allow us to make sense of the world.


Let us take as example, VAK communication styles. Different people have different styles of perceiving reality, learning things and relating to others. There are three major styles of relating and communicating and auditory is one of these. The other two are visual and kinesthetic. The auditory style refers to those people who respond to and are stimulated mostly by sounds. Auditory persons learn more effectively by hearing rather than by seeing (visual) or doing (kinesthetic or kinos). They also receive information best when they hear it with their own ears and can repeat and hear it again for clarity. They are more sensitive to breathing sounds, are talking a lot, and are both very good speakers and listeners. Musicians, sales people, speakers, sales persons are more auditory than others. They love to hear themselves talking and they spend a lot of time talking on… phone:). They are more interested in tonality, in the rhythm and volume of the sounds than in appearances, images or feelings.


If your boss is an auditory oriented person, he/she’ll expect you to communicate through meetings, instead of email or memos. He/She may even find email or memos to be offensive or less meaningful than a phone call or meeting. Also, if you need to address a problem or issue, you will have to begin the conversation with positive affirmations about what you like about a person or the project before you get into the issue. An auditory person will then be more open to receiving your ideas and won’t be so quick to put up any walls. So, go ahead with being positive and the world, at least the auditory  part will listen to you!


The auditory employee wants to “hear” what others have said about certain parts of the job, and getting him or her to do certain tasks will often be more effective when the person can repeat the task out loud and form an internal auditory representation of the task.

They are not afraid to initiate discussion with people they never met– so they are perfect match for cold calling tasks and business development area- and can communicate easily on every topic.

So dear, recruiter, if you receive the task to find a person for a call center job where usually the employee turnover rate is pretty high (sometimes higher than 30%), who do you think it would be a good match: a visual, an auditory or a kinesthetic candidate?


In the second part, we’ll see how you can identify in the easiest way an auditory oriented person and will answer finally to the questions, what is in fact humanistic approach? And why to adopt it in order to attract and find talents? I know, I should have started with this but I usually like to start with the end:) because it gives me a different perspective and  we all need sometimes a different perspective...

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The humanist approach: key to success in everything - part II

When I look at the world I'm pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic."(Carl Rogers, 1961)