Relationship-Based Hiring: Why Data Doesn’t Always Deliver

There is a major paradigm shift happening in the world of human resources and talent management. Companies at the cutting edge are now moving toward a more relational, personality-driven, and behavior-focal approach to choosing candidates to hire. It is becoming clear that employee retention and satisfaction may suffer when data precedes real, human recruitment. How does this paradigm shift affect your hiring processes? You may need to extrapolate less and converse more in order to find the actual best fit for your vacancy – and the best fit may not be the best on-paper choice.

Candidates Are People

Yes, it is entirely necessary to look at data when harvesting talent from a pool of 500 resumes. To see each individual applicant as a person with emotions and goals and quirks would take forever. To begin, there must be benchmarks of experience and capability that weed out people who cannot or should not fill the role at hand. However, once top candidates are amassed, it is essential to begin to get to know them. Before you ever interview, look at their social profiles, see them as humans, and begin to appreciate them individually. When you do interview, ask questions that reach beyond assessing capability. Assume that the interviewees can do the job and begin learning how they would approach certain situations, what they want out of their careers as a whole, and how they would fit with your current team.

“Numbers Never Lie” is a Lie

Fact: many candidates do actually lie on resumes, thus straining the efficacy of mining candidates based on data alone. Even among resumes that tell the truth, two candidates with matching numbers are by no means guaranteed to perform similarly in a given role. Without developing a relationship with top talent, it would be impossible to truly determine fit.

Find Your Fit

We recommend a mixed method of data extrapolation and relationship-building to find Mr. or Ms. Right-for-the-job. To narrow down heaps of hopefuls, data is the best recourse. Once you have the pool of candidates who bear the right numbers in experience, education, and any other X-factors, it’s essential to humanize. Rather than devise a rubric of personality must-haves, encourage your hiring managers to research and reach-out the way you might get to know a neighbor – be friendly, engaged, and curious.


This is not the “easy” way to find excellent employees. The easy way is to pick the best resumes out of a pile, interview to confirm, and pick the least awkward interviewee. Choosing employees based on who they are instead of what they are takes time and patience. Work alongside a staffing agency that has been doing this for years. TRN outperforms other recruitment firms by providing referrals for candidates we’ve made the effort to know personally. With us, you will get more than a stack of resumes you could have procured on your own. We do the legwork. See what the TRN Staffing model is all about.

Like Us on Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *