The Four C's of Recruitment



I get asked frequently why I joined Allergan PLC last year. The answer is quite straightforward and very much aligns with the topic of this article. When speaking with the company's commercial and HR leaders I felt a kinship and immediate chemistry. It seemed as if the culture of Allergan was highly compatible with the way I like to work. I was at the end of my GM contract with GSK in Indonesia and so the timing and circumstances were aligning for me to be open to something different. And when I found out the opportunity would be in Brazil, a market that has been very important over the course of my career, it made choosing Allergan very easy.

I extrapolated these four C's after reading a book by a dear friend, author, Florida A&M alumnus, and successful marketing consultant Bianca Blake. In her book - The 4 C's of Relationships, Bianca describes the linear process and pillars of forming an effective romantic relationship as requiring chemistry, compatibility, circumstance, and choice. Chemistry relates to that initial spark of interest and curiosity between two strangers. Compatibility goes deeper to deal with shared values, interests, and goals. Circumstance is about proximity, availability, and openness. And choice revolves around commitment, resilience, and the strength of the bonds between the couple.

I believe these same four C's strongly relate to attracting key talents into an organization. The reason why we conduct HR screenings is to detect the degree of rightness for the position, internal team, and the organization (chemistry). When you assess organizational fit you are really trying to understand whether your values, interests, and goals are aligned with the candidate (compatibility). When external recruiters initially contact a potential candidate they look to ascertain the moment of the candidate and openness to change organizations (circumstance). The reason why asking questions related to a candidates' time in role, gaps in experience, and how they have handled adversity, are so important are because they allow you to understand the person's attitude, resilience, solution-orientation, and sense of commitment (choice).

Therefore it is important to design a recruitment experience where these four C's can be fully explored prior to making a mutual commitment to develop a productive working relationship and grow together. Working chemistry between a candidate and their future boss and team members is crucial to success. Recruiting is not a popularity contest but if people genuinely don't like each other you are setting the organization up for trouble. If the organization values doing the right things right and the candidate values achieving results at any cost (even if it requires bending the rules), then long-term compatibility is impossible and this person's impact could be tremendously detrimental to the organization. If a person joins your organization due to great perks and financial benefits but maintains one leg back in their old company and/or old way of doing things, then the change of circumstances is unlikely to yield the desired results. And when a candidate doesn't possess the resilience or commitment necessary to complete performance cycles or effectively handle the inevitable learning curve and disappointments that come with making a change, then it will be obvious that the wrong choice was made.

What do you think of these four C's of recruitment? Are they applicable and relevant to overcoming the challenges you face in bringing in and keeping key talents into your teams and organizations? What has been your experience when chemistry, compatibility, circumstances, and choice have not aligned between yourself and a company? Let us know in the comments!

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Omar L. Harris is Associate Vice-President and Country Manager for Allergan PLC in Brazil. He is the author of Leader Board: The DNA of High-Performance Teams available for purchase in ebook or print on Amazon.com. Please follow him on instagram, twitter, and/or LinkedIn for more information and engagement.

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