Recruiting – a Way to Support Organisations to Evolve

By Rainer von Leoprechting for Enlivening Edge

In his book Reinventing Organizations Frederic Laloux describes the recruiting process as “often an uncomfortable dance of two partners wearing high heels to look taller, tight clothes to tuck the belly in, and so much make-up that they would not recognize them on a normal day”. A lovely metaphor that is also painfully true. A dance in which both partners carry a mask and try to sell themselves with a better story, all at the expense of the truth.

Teal organisations are taking a different approach, not looking for the better story but for the more authentic one. How this can be achieved?

Here are some of the teal practices mentioned by Laloux:

  • AES: “a significant number of teammates interview the candidates – 10 to 12 interviews is no rarity”
  • FAVI: “extended use of the trial period for both parties to test whether the match works out”
  • “$3,000 check if they have second thoughts and choose to quit during the four-week orientation”

Looking at these practices, key questions arise.

  • How can you get clear about what you really want?
  • How are you efficient with your time, manage costs and attract the candidates with the level of development required for the work?
  • How can you make this recruiting dance an enjoyable one, adding value to both what you do and to the people that you hire?

These are the questions at the heart of the StoryMatcher, a recruiting and the same time organisational development process scalable to different organisations and needs.
For me, recruitment is one of the most subtle processes for organizational change and development. It is through their recruitment processes and routines that organizations constantly recreate themselves anyway – mostly just to stay the same. Yet, this can be a door for positive self-design of work and co-working.

The idea of StoryMatcher is to consciously ask for people’s stories about professional success. To systematically listen, analyse, and classify them, in order to get to the heart of what is important to the organisation, as well as to the people that are seeking to work for it. It is in the matching of these stories that people and organisations then find a common ground.

It is the idea of using a forward-looking approach to address a forward-looking challenge. A story told by one can help others to remember their own future. We want to build a reservoir of compelling success stories from current organizations that helps understand and match people towards the specific professional success they desire.

It is the idea that recruitment can be an enlivening experience by which the potential of people, their deeper desires and purposes, matches with what is sought by the culture and people around the vacant position.

It was my desire and intention when developing the StoryMatcher approach that people find more compelling work each time they change their position, and in this they do spend most of their lifetime with what is deeply meaningful to them.
A small team and I are about to share StoryMatcher more widely, and work with the first innovators. You are most welcome to innovate this approach with us in both traditional and TEAL organizations.

If you want to learn more about StoryMatcher click here

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Rainer von Leoprechting (*1965) lives on a community farm in the South-East of Austria. He is a consultant, community builder, and entrepreneur. From 1994 til 2012 he worked from within the European Commission, where he built a community of internal change agents and introduced many innovative practices around how people meet and make meaning with each other.