3 tips that you can immediately apply to optimize your recruitment process

It is obvious. "The War For Talent" is raging harder than ever before. This phenomenon is caused by several factors. Let me sum up some of them. On the one hand, the markets are evolving at a very fast pace. This makes continuous development and continuous training of existing employees necessary. On the other hand, the baby boomer generation is leaving our labor market. In recent years, fewer young people have been employed than older people have left the labor market. An important consequence of this is that nowadays both functions and profiles take on a less traditional character than in the past. A nuanced recruitment strategy combined with sufficient creativity is therefore essential. Today I will discuss 3 tips that you can immediately apply to optimize your recruitment process.

1) Analyze and determine the success profile

I admit it. Creativity and progressive insight are unmistakable in the recruitment process these days. Also, for many recruiters, HR managers and business managers, the temptation is often great to fill vacancies quickly. Nevertheless, it is important not to forget the most important basic principles of a qualitative recruitment process.

Success stories in your own organization

Nobody likes to do double work. The internet/ wheel/hot water already exists. Some HR managers waste a lot of energy looking for new elements that could make it easier for them to spot ideal candidates. Not only can this be time consuming. It can also cause confusion when choosing a recruitment strategy. Although I am certainly an advocate of trying out new things, I have to admit that the answer is often right in front of our noses. What I mean by this is that an analysis of the existing workforce can teach us a lot. See who the ‘settlers’ are in your company. Note: the factors that make someone want to stay in your organization and whether or not they want to continue to grow, often differ per function and position. On top of that they can also be of a rather subjective nature. Once you have found the ‘settlers’, it is possible to find out what makes these employees successful within the organization. Then sit down at the table with these people, enter into a dialogue with them and chart multiple success profiles. When you do this, it is advisable to look for the success factors in 2 basic categories. What makes that someone has “Performance Fit” and “Cultural Fit”.

Performance Fit

What are the competencies, capabilities and potential that ensure that these employees perform well and will continue to do so in the future. What training did they receive? Do they receive continuous training? Are they motivated to grow or not? Above all, try to pay attention to things that are not necessarily obvious. For example, the lack of motivation to continue growing may actually ensure that an employee performs his job in all perfection and will continue to do so. The opposite may also be true. Other employees take certain insights and methods from another job or even sector they were previously in. It is only to give you an idea.

Cultural Fit

In addition to someone’s competencies and the education he or she received, there are also the less obvious elements that make someone aspire or not to a career within your organization. They are often a little more personal than the above mentioned things. For example: personality, motives, upbringing, attitude, values and norms, vision, etc…

In short, the better someone fits in the organization where he or she works; the more successful the collaboration will be.

2) Think out of the box

“The War For Talent” means that today’s recruiters need to get out of their comfort zone more and more. This manifests itself both in the search for suitable candidates and in making full use of their potential.

Search is an active verb

Nowadays, through the internet and digitization, there are many ways to find and get in touch with talent. However, I note that the majority of recruiters do not use the full potential of these tools. They don’t go far enough with them. Yes, it’s true: the internet allows us to reach a huge number of people with one click of the mouse. But we have to realize that in most cases, recruitment is about customization. Right, customization and not ready-made work, otherwise everyone would be suitable for any function. I can share an important tip about this with you. Enter the action, create a network and look for strong references in the sectors in which you recruit. People who have already earned their feathers. Meet these people, ask for references, get in touch with fellow professionals from their network. In short, if you, as a recruiter, are fully convinced of the opportunities you offer, then the people you come into contact with will follow this opinion. Even though this method is rather intensive, I promise you that in time your acquired network will be a stronger starting point than the numerous platforms and databases that are currently available on the internet. Do you want to know why? Because your network has a very personal and accessible character. That is why it is unique.

Profiles are less traditional than before

Sometimes you have to be very creative. As I mentioned earlier, it is not strange these days that candidates owe their suitability to insights and skills acquired in outside of a professional field. Personal interests, a comrade or family member, hobbies and leisure time or even an independent secondary profession, can play an important role today. That’s why a recruiter today needs to think “out of the box”. To clarify this, I will tell you about one of our first recruitment assignments. We were asked by a major logistics player in inland shipping to find a planner. The challenge was that in the region where our client was located, in a radius of 30 kilometers, there were almost no professionals living who were suitable for this position. On top of that, the connection with the city, where there were many suitable candidates, was extremely poor. Nevertheless, we started our search with conviction. After a few weeks, we noticed that the success factors we had in mind in combination with the poor connection, made it impossible to find the suitable candidate and then to convince them to interview with our client. At such moments you realize how creative you can be. We looked at the situation from a different angle. The solution we came up with was the following. We recruited someone who owed his experience somewhat to a 10-year career in the logistics sector. But this was not the only factor that shaped his suitability. His experience consisted solely of dispatching and planning of trucks. Still, there was a certain interest in maritime shipping and especially inland navigation for this person. What made him suitable, for the position to be filled, was the fact that in his spare time he very often practiced sport on inland waterways. He did this mainly on the canals on which our client carried out his activity. This ensured that he had an enormous knowledge about the canals and inland shipping in general. In short, this advantage combined with his previous work experience, a short refresher course and some guidance made him the right candidate. He lived less than 10 minutes away from his new employer. Finally, he also made sure that the relationship between his new employer and the water sportsmen, who often made the work difficult with their pleasure, changed into an optimal relationship. So there you go.

3) Always recruit from a bidding position

If you have opportunities to offer and you are fully convinced of them, then you have to radiate that too. People won’t be drawn to you if you run behind them like a lost puppy . That gives a very desperate impression.

Being bidding,  makes the temptation all the greater.

Choose A-players

I always find it a sin when I see people being hired just to hire someone. Because a vacancy has to be filled urgently or because a position has been open for too long. My advice is that you should focus on A-players. But what is an A-player? An A-player does not only practice his function to perform it. He or she does this in an excellent way. This employee has a continuous hunger for growth and development. This person sees opportunities and creates solutions. In short, as the old saying goes: a company stands or falls with a person. This is not quite right, but you understand where I´m getting at. The more A-players there are in your organization, the better you can be in your recruitment process. Therefore, always pay attention to the type of employee you want to work with. This does not necessarily have to be the type you already have. Because both setting the bar high and the presence of multiple A-players attracts even more A-players.

Recruit continuously

A recruitment process only reaches its full potential when it is used as a long-term strategy. What I mean by this is that you also have to recruit when there are no vacancies. You then work proactively and build up a database full of professionals. After all, it is always more fun to create a position than to fill a vacancy. It is also much more interesting because you can be sure that you are working with people of whom it was too insane not to hire them and let them step into the competition. That’s right, A-players. We see that this strategy is applied by the most successful companies. Companies that are enormously rich in human capital. In short, companies that are very proactive towards the market.

By the way, do you know why most HR managers are women? Women are usually more proactive than men, they are also stronger in organization, planning and preparation.

They prefer to be too prepared rather than too late. They also have an eye for detail. These are indispensable qualities for a good HR operation.

When you are constantly recruiting, I guarantee that your seat is always full of talent and you will always be able to recruit from a bidding position.

Talk is cheap

Finally, it is also important that you continue to invest in your screening techniques. Take training courses or find a mentor you can learn from.

You are never too old to learn and polish your method. The best candidates can say a lot. But talk is cheap. That’s why I’ll give you a few more insights to optimize your screening method. On the one hand, it is important to let your applicant have a lot to say. Let him tell a story. For example, it can be very interesting to ask which path he or she has taken from the 6th grade until now. Throughout this story you can reflect on the facts and ask questions on certain subjects. It is important that you ask questions deep enough to test the truthfulness of the story. If a candidate often uses the word “we”, ask especially what his or her role was and specifically had to do. I promise you that you will then be able to draw a conclusion fairly quickly. On the other hand, it is important that someone’s story shows consistency and coherence. If this is not the case, it is advisable to question the story. After all, it can also be interesting to measure someone’s success on the basis of his or her attribution pattern. Where does this person put the causes of his or her successes and failures? People who attribute correctly can always overcome obstacles. People who attribute wrongly, relinquish control. Of course there are more tips and insights to optimize your screening process, but we will come back to that next time.


Optimizing your recruitment process is unfortunately not self-evoceident. That is why it is important to know who you are looking for and then be creative enough to find them and finally convince them to make a career in your organization. Finding the right recruitment method and constantly fine-tuning it takes a lot of time. But it is worth it when you can collaborate with A-players.

Do you have little or no time to optimize your recruitment process? Or do you need advice? We understand that! Contact us without obligation to assist you.

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