It might be time to throw away the classic hiring script, where a hopeful candidate is grilled during an interview before being handed a contract to sign.
A Kiwi fintech goes to the hiking trail, the basketball court, or even the kitchen to lighten the recruiting process and see what their successful candidate is up to.
Dean Curtis, director of human resources at PowerFinance, explains that the company applies a rigorous screening process to ensure that the candidate has the right technical skills, but that is only one piece of the puzzle.
“What we place more emphasis on is who they are as people and how they’re going to contribute to the environment we have here,” he says.
During the interview process, the company subtly gleans how the candidate likes to spend their free time.
After the company decides who is the best candidate for the position among the candidates, this candidate is asked if he wants to organize an activity related to his hobby to do with senior management.
So far, the team has hiked Rangitoto Island, popped into the kitchen for a cooking class, and even shot a few hoops at a community basketball court.
Although it’s supposed to be a bit of fun, the company also takes notes on the skills the candidate displays, such as leadership potential and project management ability.
At this point, however, the recruiting team is certain they want to hire the candidate and once the session is over, the offer is formally made.
In today’s competitive job market, Frog Recruitment Managing Director Shannon Barlow says anything an employer can do to stand out is a good thing.
The focus is on compensation packages, especially as inflation climbs to 7.3% and beyond, but Barlow says not all organizations are able to afford the big bucks . This means leaders need to think creatively about how they can gain an advantage.
“Companies can stand out in other ways and show that they see the candidate as more than just a number, while the candidate can also get a sense of what it will be like to work there and have fun a bit while doing it too,” she says.
PowerFinance’s approach is a good way to get to know a candidate, but Curtis says strategy requires the luxury of time. In a more pressured job market, the company often has to act quickly to hire a new employee and does not have time to plan an activity.
It’s a new strategy for the company, but Curtis thinks it’s working so far.
“The focus was on how we can make sure we have the right people, because that’s important for retention,” he says.
“It’s a lot of pressure for an employer to hire someone and hope they stay. So it’s our job to be as open as possible and to share who we are.
At the same time, the candidate gets an idea of whether he would like to work in the company. If they decide to accept the job offer, it also smooths the transition period for the newbie.
“When they get to day one they’ve already met a handful of people and there’s a bit of hype. We’ve already shared the story of how they came to be part of the team through the company,” he said.
“People are starting to settle in and get into their jobs quickly, which can usually take a bit of time. We accelerated the process by doing one simple thing: let people be themselves.