6 Values to Guide Candidate-Centric Hiring

5 min readJun 2, 2021


Image from Ohne

Creating a candidate centric hiring process begins with empathy. In fact, in the famous design thinking methodology created by IDEO and incubated at Stanford University, empathy is always the leading first step. When it comes to a pre-employment assessment or any other part of the candidate experience journey, lead with empathy and follow with thought.

Ai Ching Goh, CEO at Piktochart, kindly granted an interview to explain more about how Piktochart leads their organizational culture with their core values. Let’s examine one company who puts empathy at the core of what they do: Piktochart. Values lay at the core of Piktochart’s organizational culture, including their hiring and recruitment practices.

Piktochart is one example of a company working to live out its values — — and companies can use it to find it as inspiration for a candidate-centric hiring process.

H is for Humble

“We’re always open to feedback and to learning from our mistakes. We tend to view our humility as a strength, because we know that recognizing shortcomings will open doors to improvement”.

Empathy is an important part of the hiring process. Those who can adopt a “learner’s mindset” when approaching problems that affect other people will have the greatest success in creating solutions that make an impact. This is the most important part of the process, focusing on participatory action research — not just documenting the user, but engaging them in the brainstorming, modeling, and prototyping as well.

O is for Open Up

“Transparency is key, and both internal and external collaborations are valued. We encourage employees and users alike to honestly voice what is on their minds. When someone speaks, we listen intently. We speak the truth with love and respect!”

Being transparent is a key part of creating a candidate-centric hiring process. Piktochart encourages their employees to speak. Ask for candidate feedback. Create candidate experience feedback surveys. Be transparent about the entire process, from the intro email to the rejection letter. 76% of candidates confirm they don’t hear back from a company they’ve applied to. Candidates appreciate communication and transparency — -even if it’s the response they’re hoping for.

P is for Passionate

“We’re a team of developers, designers, marketers, and support staff who care about building the best visual storytelling tool on the internet. Piktochart is a part of who we are — and we love what we do. We want our users to love what they create.”

How to capture the hearts of potential employees? Lead with passion. Examine how your candidate hiring process conveys passion towards the product, the problem it solves, or the people it helps. Think about different ways of integrating how to bring in passion into every step of the hiring and recruitment process.

E is for Excellent

A wise person once said, “Aim for the moon. If you miss you may hit a star.” In everything we do, we aim for excellence — but we refuse to let perfection hold us back.

As the Greek philosopher, Aristotle once said, “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives — choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” Excellence in creating a candidate-centric approach is a result of passion, intention, and execution. The key indicator for an excellent job: positive feedback from candidates and fresh employees. Again, send out a candidate survey to learn more.

F is for Fun

“We pride ourselves on hiring genuinely awesome and sometimes quirky team members. Our light-hearted and lively culture shines inside and outside of Piktochart. F also stands for the Foosball table in the office, which some of us spend way too much time with.”

Take a cue from Piktochart and put in some personality into your candidate experience. Hiring does not have to be a laborious enterprise. It can actually be infused with some humour and fun. The more relatable you are, the more memorable you are to candidates. Think about fun ways to insert personality into each step. Whether it’s sticking compay-loved GIF into an email or inviting them to the weekly company game night. Keep it lively within the process.

U is for User Focused

“Our mission is to provide a design tool that’s both intuitive and indispensable. We’re directing Piktochart to be laser-focused on what’s best for our users and their goals.”

Piktochart knows how important it is to be user-centric; they included it in their values. Ironically, if a candidate experience or hiring journey includes a candidate…it really should be candidate-centric. Keep iterating with that in mind.

L is for Love

“ ‘I love to…’, it turns out, is a pretty good way to start your sentences, shape your thinking, and make things that matter. We do things out of love and we wouldn’t know what to do without the good people who use the stuff we make.”

Piktochart believes that without good people, they couldn’t make the magic that they do. When handing out a pre-employment assessment or following up with an on boarding question, it’s always important to remember that human resources focuses on bringing out the best in people.

How does Retorio create a candidate-centric process?

Create greater ownership

We encourage recruiters and hiring managers to prioritize seeing candidates as individuals who possess varying interests, needs, and values. We give recruiter responsibility over the questions they pose and using their experienced judgement to assess how candidates align with job requirements and the team.

On the candidate side, candidates are in control over their own data. As a GDPR-compliant company, we value privacy and ownership. We also value other candidate-centric ownership, like creating accessibility to apply for any job, wherever a candidate is, at a time what is most convenient for them. Some candidates work odd jobs or are a primary caregiver and may have difficulty getting time to schedule an in-person or phone interview. We create accessibility and equitability in its ease of use.

What Makes Elon Musk, Elon Musk?

Retorio is a video-based behavioral assessment powered by AI. It uses facial expression, language, gesture, and voice to create a Big 5 Personality profile.

Companies like BMW and Lufthansa, leverage Retorio’s AI to support their own talent management teams. Our video-based AI was featured in TechCrunch and Süddeutsche Zeitung.

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Using AI, video, and behavioural cues, we help answer the question “How does it feel to work with this person?”.