Why Your Recruitment and Selection Strategy may be Unremarkable (and What to Do About It)

Jan 6, 2017Recruitment & Selection

Differentiating your business using your recruitment and selection strategy


The recruitment industry tends to be somewhat like a stew, where it is sometimes hard to distinguish the beef from the potatoes! Competition in recruitment is fierce and differentiating your business offering is no easy task.

In 2017, many recruitment companies are expecting things to get busier than ever. To stand out, it is essential to develop an effective recruitment and selection strategy.

The issues facing recruitment companies are many and varied. As it stands, new hire retention is perhaps the most important metric of success for your clients.

According to The Balance, effective recruitment leads to an organisation hiring employees who are good fits – employees who are skilled, experienced, engaged, productive and loyal to your organisation. The key then is to get it right, or not get it wrong. Sound easy? Well, it’s not. If you could differentiate your business here do you think it would help?

recruitment and selection strategy

Many hiring companies are cash-strapped and forced to focus solely on initiatives that bring the most obvious return – they are not making the investments that would support their recruitment and selection strategy. In an ideal world companies would probably invest more money in initiatives such as employer branding, new technology and assessment tools. The research shows that this is what they would like to do.  But they do little of it in reality.

recruitment and selection strategy

So, in these circumstances and given the intense competition, here are a few things we think you should probably stop and start doing in 2017 that should help differentiate your business from the rest.

What you Need to Stop Doing in 2017 to Improve your Recruitment and Selection Strategy


Relying on hard core sales

Being too salesy doesn’t work. David Morel makes the point that generally people react negatively to hard core sales calls, and that the market has moved on to more subtle selling.

“Spraying and praying”

You may be desperate, but avoid resorting to “spraying and praying”. Focus on candidates with relevant profiles, not just anybody who vaguely fits the description.

Moving so fast

In many cases, the challenge of meeting high volume recruitment can leave recruiters missing the forest for the trees and forgetting what exactly they’re looking for in the first place.

Trying to be “all things for all people”

There is a lot to be said for specialising in a niche market, rather than trying to please everybody and be a generalist recruiter. Focus your recruitment and selection strategy on becoming an expert in one or two areas only. There are “riches in niches”.

Putting out unclear ads

Typically the client doesn’t really know what the job is, or there isn’t agreement around the table. If your brief is unclear then your ad is unclear and you have no way of measuring the candidate. It’s ineffective.

recruitment and selection strategy

What you Need to Start Doing in 2017 to Improve your Recruitment and Selection Strategy


Help your clients understand what the job actually is – build a Scorecard

This is the first crucial step. Quite often a client is hiring for a job they don’t really understand. They may think they understand it, but thinking and actually getting it down on a piece of paper in black and white and in a way that is measurable is quite different.

The first thing recruiters must do is help the client understand what the role is. Key Accountabilities with metrics should be the first focus of attention.  We use the following tool as part of our patented benchmarking process. Developing this with the recruiting team is the single most important step in the recruitment process.

recruitment and selection strategy

We use this as the basis for building a Role Benchmark using our DISC Personality Test for behaviours, Driving forces Tool for motivatiors, competency and acumen psychometrics.

Put together an appropriate brief

Having helped the client understand what the role is, the Key Accountabilities and Role Benchmark are then used to build an ideal candidate profile. This should be done with the client.

It should then be easy to develop clear communications pieces such as adverts, postings to social media sites, etc.

Use the process to screen out candidates

The third step is to screen out candidates. We tend to recommend initial hard skill etc. screenings, knockout question screenings, phone interviews, 1st and 2nd round interviews with members of the team participating, until you are ultimately left with a couple of well matched candidates for the role.

While this may sound like a big effort, it is easy to do if you have the clarity that comes from the briefing exercise and a benchmark completed.

Benchmark the final candidates

When the number of candidates have been reduced down, you should benchmark them against the role to offer a valid basis for ranking candidates. The TTI tools provide interview questions based on certain criteria – Behaviour,(DISC Tool) Driving Forces, Competencies. You should use this or something similar.

Also be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the data show that the candidate has 90%+ of the skills, behaviours, driving forces, etc. needed to achieve the outcomes?
  • Does the data show that the candidate has 90%+ of the will and persistence needed to achieve the job-related goals?

If the answer is “yes,” then you’re onto a winner.

Make the offer and close the deal

When you have found the person you want to hire, don’t delay. Close the deal as soon as you can. Go out of your way to help them settle in and ensure a support system and development plan are put in place.

recruitment and selection strategy

You’ve hired – now what?

You’ve found the perfect person for the job. What happens now?

It is critical to have the right tools in place to onboard the candidate properly. At TTI we find triad debriefing very effective. Consider implementing it in your recruitment and selection strategy. It involves debriefing the individual with their boss, comparing the two of them to each other and debriefing the boss as well so they all understand each other, how they communicate and how they work best.

Using the candidate’s profile and benchmark you can produce a gap report on all the critical areas. Based on the gap report they can do a development plan. This is a real value add.

Because this is such a comprehensive process, yet easy to do because it is all integrated, clients going back to ad hoc recruitment methods is not a runner anymore. It is extremely rare to see a client moving somewhere else and trying to find an alternative process. It develops a stickiness for the next recruitments.

Once you bring this system into the client, it opens up the whole area of succession planning. Why couldn’t a recruitment consultant say to a client, ‘let’s measure your people’? Let’s identify who in fact could fit the next role. Let’s look for internal hires as opposed to external. There is value for the client in this going forward.

Develop a strengths-based recruitment process

An effective recruitment and selection strategy takes a strengths-based approach. What opportunities do you have to embed this type of strengths-based approach within your recruitment?

Enabling candidates to feel valued and recognised for their strengths will enable your clients employer brand to stand out – and recruit the best talent. This results in the recruitment of candidates that not only excel in their role, but also demonstrate higher levels of engagement, productivity, and well being.

It helps define crystal clear outcomes so that there is no confusion as to what the person has to accomplish. It helps to align individual and organisational purpose and competence so that the person knows why they are coming to work each day and what competencies, etc. are required for success in this job. This process naturally leads into a professional development plan, performance management system, succession planning, etc.

What Problem are you Trying to Fix?

Anybody in business has to continuously ask themselves the question: what problem am I trying to fix? Is it a question of trying to fill a gap, fill a position, educate the client or build a long term relationship with the client? What is the challenge you’re trying to resolve?

Once you’ve identified what you’re trying to fix, the next step is to find how you can differentiate yourself in the market place. What can you bring to the party that is different from what anyone else is bringing? The suggestions above could be a starting point.

Final thoughts…

Identifying the problem that needs to be solved and helping the client articulate what they want so they really hire the right person for the job is a huge thing. As is developing stickiness, bringing a real value add for the client and offering additional services after the recruitment.

The way proposed above is an effective model. It is a scientific and professional model. It develops a strong relationship with the client during the recruitment process and afterwards.


Check out our webinar on “How to hire the best employees every time”.

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