CHRO South Africa webinar reveals ways to re-engineer recruiting

Wamly’s Francois De Wet says that the way organisations source, hire and recruit is outdated.

Francois De Wet, founder of South Africa’s biggest video interview software company Wamly, shared lessons on how to improve the company recruitment process in a webinar titled Re-engineering Recruitment hosted by CHRO SA.

The self-styled renegade industrial psychologist shared insights and lessons learned that will enable local HR executives and time-pressed CEOs to find, recruit and retain the best possible people and with the least possible stress.

He opened the session by saying that, “People power organisations and HR powers people,’ and therefore we can’t ignore the importance of people to organisations, which makes “HR the most critical function in businesses.”

“People we work with become our work family and are responsible for the company success and our happiness and that makes people a big deal in our organisations.”

But Francois says the way in which many organisations source, hire and recruit people is outdated to a point of damage, especially when the conveniences of modern technology are available to help rectify the problem.

Some of the recruiting challenges and solutions that Francois outlined include:
CVs: Francois says CVs are untrustworthy, “People get creative to get in the door, CVs are undynamic and updated poorly and the majority of the time they are out of date. You can’t judge a recruit by their CV because they don’t reflect candidates,”

Solution: Francois suggests that recruiters ask the candidates to only send the CV areas that will allow them to make a quick decision. These are skills, qualifications and knowledge.

He adds that organisations can do away with CVs entirely and rather use online survey tools to set up more interesting qualifying criteria of questions to force a clear and concise answer, “because the problem with the CV is that the candidate is more in control of what they are showing you and I want us to flip that around and you tell the candidate completely what you want to hear.”

Interviews: Francois believes that face-to-face interviews could potentially be bad for organisations because, “They take hours of setting up, and even when you know the interviewee is wrong for the job you can’t stop within the five minutes of the interview. You have to sit through the entire interview and hope the other candidate waiting outside the corridor next to the boardroom is not the same experience.”

Solution: He suggests two-way interviews, where hiring managers arrange video calls with candidates and chat with them, “Two-way interviews don’t require the same level of scheduling as traditional face-to-face interviews and they can be done anywhere and at better times.”

But he thinks the best is a one-way interview video, “Wamly uses asynchronous video. It’s a process by which a candidate logs into the software, where a series of questions you set up based on the requirements of the role await them. They answer the questions in the video to the camera and once they are done the software will upload the responses and recruiters will get notified and you can then watch it at the time that suits you.”

Questions: Many questions are generic and lazy, says Francois. The two examples of questions that are not great to ask during interviews are questions that have nothing to do with the role, for example, race, age, gender, sexual preference, religion, the answers to these questions don’t provide you with information that is related to the role, he says.

The second example he presented was, questions that don’t tell you anything about the person; what their biggest development opportunities are and how their boundary management is, instead of asking questions like ‘why do you want to work here’?

Solutions: Organisations firstly need to ask themselves how they can filter their candidates better, earlier in the process so that they can spend more time in person on the important things that predict success in the role.

It is also useful to ask line managers to develop questions and tasks that relate to the actual job, “bring in line managers to help you build the interview guide, they know exactly what is required in the role and the conversation becomes less unstructured and follows a more competency-based interview process where line managers are telling you what to ask and you build questions around that.

Francois concluded by saying people equals power. “Recruiting is the gas station where we get fuel for the business engine, so give it the attention it deserves and make sure the rest of the business understands it. And very often recruitment is seen as this mundane admin exercise that doesn’t always get the attention and budget it deserves.”