When pundits started deriding helicopter parents for interfering in their offspring’s venture into the workplace, I saw this as an opportunity. A cry for help. The message was so obviously loud and clear: we should be hiring for families, not individuals.
That’s why we started our Holistic Hiring practice. It begins and ends with family.
I get a lot of confused looks when I talk about this to people outside of my company, and I’m ok with being misunderstood.
If you’re one of the enlightened and are ready to challenge the status quo, I’m willing to share my top insights gleaned from the past five years of Holistic Hiring:
- Kids say the darndest things. There is no better way to assess cultural fit, than a 30 minute meeting with a candidate’s own offspring. My preferred method is circle time with a group of the office children (the “kiddos”) and the candidate’s child(ren). Let the conversation flow naturally. If the kids fit, you better believe their parent will too.
- Happy wife, happy (work) life. This one also works for the husbands, but the rhyme doesn’t work. For this stage in the process, we like to take the candidate’s spouse out for what they think is a casual coffee, but what we actually do is an intense session of laughing yoga. You can really see into one’s soul through their soulmate after a dedicated moment of pure emotion.
- Puuurfect prospects. As a fur-baby friendly operation, we need to make sure that the four-legged family members are able to build a rapport with our ever-growing menagerie of pets. When the fit isn’t immediate, this is a major red flag. Beware!
- The gang’s all here! This is always my favorite part of the interview process: bringing in the whole family, plus the candidate’s parents. We encourage slideshows from their childhood. We know that the person they are today wasn’t solidified by their last six years of work experience. Who they are was solidified the first time they scraped their knee, their first kiss, their first time being grounded. These are the moments we really care about.
We rarely meet with the candidate alone. That’s how it’s been done for years. You meet an individual (what I like to call “individual island”) and you get a fraction of the picture. And often-times you get a misleading picture. BUT, when you meet with their circle and everything changes. The data you gather from the Holistic Hiring approach tells you if a candidate will be a valuable part of YOUR family. After that, nothing else matters.