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How to recruit the right people

Business success is directly linked to the calibre of people involved. Selecting the wrong team can be costly, in terms of reputation as well as time and money. For any business, putting the right team in place is vital – in fact it can be the difference between success and failure. But the recruitment process can be a minefield as it’s expensive, time consuming and often frustrating.

Before you even begin the recruitment process, it’s essential to consider what type of person you’re looking to hire. There’s more than meets the eye to this. You need to start by looking at your own company as your employer brand is vital to successfully finding the right candidate. Demonstrate what your company is all about and why candidates should be excited about working with you. Richard Branson, for instance, highlights three key characteristics he looks for when hiring: people skills, risk-taking and determination for success, and optimism.

No one wants to hire the wrong person

At times of quick growth, brands tend to speed up their hiring process, which can lead to poor hires. Sometimes a candidate with the right credentials and perfect references can turn out to be a difficult one and cause unexpected problems after hiring. Research shows that only 19% of new hires are considered fully successful and only 46% last longer than 18 months.

When undertaking the hiring process, it’s important to ensure the candidate is the right fit for your company’s culture. Will they get on well with the rest of your team? Can you offer the job satisfaction and career path that matches their expectations? Take a look at your team’s strengths and weaknesses and consider what hires will make your business more successful. Look at areas where your business is lacking skills and experience and consider how they could help your brand to reach the next level.

Finding your perfect match

Netflix’s former Chief Talent Officer Patty McCord sees hiring as constant matchmaking. She says that building a team of people requires managers to really know what they need, and for HR to actually understand the workings of the business. Making great hires is about recognising great matches—and sometimes they’re not what you’d expect.

Take a step back and think before deciding the route you’ll take to get your company’s message out there. Recruitment agencies are the obvious choice, but they can be expensive. Major job boards get a high volume of traffic and niche job boards often come at a lower cost and will get your ad seen by specific candidates. Look towards your network too. You could know someone or have a friend-of-a-friend that’s perfect for the position – LinkedIn is a great tool for this. Social media generally can also be an excellent platform for spreading word of your vacancies.

At Acumen, we pride ourselves in offering development that gives leaders at all levels practical tools to help solve real life challenges. Our ‘Recruitment and Selection’ programme enables participants to conduct effective selection interviews and reduce the risk of recruitment errors. The programme helps participants to better understand the recruitment process and analyse a job description or person specification to determine qualities required.

In addition, participants will learn to state the characteristics of a good interviewer, prepare and structure an interview, and to conduct an effective interview using a range of skills including: questioning, listening, observation and employment law knowledge. For more information contact

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