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Disrupt your own recruitment process and talent acquisition approach

Did you know that most companies are tapping into around 3% of the brain power of their human capital capability? That is a startling stat. Assuming this is true in the recruitment and talent (TA) function of your company, imagine how much mental capacity you have to tap into for new ideas and innovations in sourcing, attracting and securing talent for your company.

Tap into the brain power of those in your company to disrupt your recruitment process

It is imperative that you take some time away from the operational running of your recruitment and TA function from time to time. The opportunity to take a breath, away from your day to day work environment, allows you to consider how your recruitment and TA function is performing. Not only operationally but also strategically, in line with your company’s overall strategic plan.

Take the opportunity to tap into more than 3% of your company’s brain power.

In pragmatic terms, the opportunity to step away and review your recruitment and TA function allows you to:

  1. Review “where you are at” today, operationally and culturally in meeting the company’s overall strategic plan. Are the people you are employing and engaging (including freelancers, contingent workers etc), helping your company to meet its strategic and operational objectives?
  2. Re-acquaint yourself with the bigger picture. Does your Head of Recruitment and TA have a seat at the Executive table? Are you fully acquainted with what your company is trying to achieve? Do you have a good hold on the skill sets needed to meet your company objectives, now and into the future?
  3. Evaluate whether your recruitment and TA methodology aligns with the company’s goals, objectives and values?

Now assuming you are indeed only tapping into 3% of your company’s human capital, stepping away from your company operationally (for a day or half day) presents a valuable opportunity to improve to further tap into more the brain power in your company to improve your ability to source, attract and secure top talent.

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Listening to a diverse range of viewpoints from those within your company provides unique and innovative ideas to improve your recruitment and TA function. It is VERY important for all voices to be heard – not just the loud ones!

If you run out of time on the day you set aside to think more strategically about your recruitment and TA function, don’t be afraid to take ideas beyond your strategy session, to really flesh out the detail.

Involve a range of company stakeholders to brainstorm and innovate

Whilst it is always tempting to take a day off site with just your recruitment/TA team, I would encourage you to consider including people from all parts of your company. This will allow you to really innovate or disrupt your current recruitment and TA approach.

Remember, diverse points of view are essential to create a balanced perspective and to consider new and innovative ways to attract the right talent for your company.

Listening to those who have no pre conceived idea of how a recruitment methodology or TA function runs, allows room for thinking outside the box.

What an effective strategic recruitment workshop might look like

EVERY company should take time to review your recruitment and TA performance to ensure that functionally and operationally, you are “heading in the right direction”.

Take time out (whether that is on site or off site) for a strategic session where there are no phones and no social media or email disruptions. Just brain power and a focus on how you can disrupt, improve or innovate elements of your current recruitment and TA model.

With a continuous improvement and innovation mindset, here are some tips to get the conversation rolling.

Are you are currently fulfilling your company strategy with the talented individuals you hire?

If you are employing the most talented individuals the market has to offer but their skill sets and values are not aligned with the values and strategic direction of your company, elements of your recruitment and TA strategy need to change.

Once aligned, here are some ideas to think about from a blue sky perspective:

Sticky notes on a wall
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  • How can we reduce the time, resources and attention currently required to bring talented people into our company…so we can make more hires more efficiently?
  • What do we need to stop doing? Brainstorm the activities that you are currently undertaking that are adding little value to sourcing, attracting, hiring, onboarding and monitoring the performance of new employees.
  • What can we stop or reduce doing, acknowledging that we have limited time and resources? How can we implement and execute the best new, innovative and effective activities to hire better quality candidates with the resources we have?
  • What do we need to do, to perform way beyond our competition in talent attraction? This should be candidate focused. ie what services can we provide to candidates that will blow our competition away?
  • What innovative process changes can we make to improve the candidate experience? Have we got the data we need to understand how we are performing against our competitors (ie benchmark time to hire, retention rates etc)?
  • What can we do to create an exceptional candidate experience for candidates moving through our recruitment process with our company, to stand out from our competitors?

Limited resources and prioritisation

Sure. We would all love to have infinite resources, technology, tools and capability to act on every innovative idea we think will make a difference to attracting top talent. But in reality, this is not possible.

Here are some key questions to ask yourselves when prioritising any changes you are looking to make to your recruitment and TA approach, practices and methodology:

  • What should we attack first? What is our highest priority based on the results we think we can get from specific changes?
  • What have we got capacity to action right now which will deliver some quick wins and improve our rate of hiring talented new hires?
  • What will we do later?
  • Consider creating ways for individuals to offer ideas for disruption (eg. every now and again, take over the front page of your intranet or company information sharing tool and ask for ideas on how the company can improve the recruitment and TA process to secure the very best talent)
  • Consider setting up recruitment and TA innovation cross functional teams (ie made up of people from different parts of your business) BUT be careful that individual ideas are not lost. Individual ideas are shown to result in disruption. Sometimes teams containing individuals with strong voices don’t allow for individual ideas to be heard and fully explored

The impact of disruption on your recruitment and TA function

Digital disruption is impacting the rate of change in every sphere of business. Don’t allow your recruitment and TA function to fall behind.

Here are some practical ideas to keep your mind open to changes in your recruitment and TA approach:

Have peripheral vision, be agile, adapt quickly, percolate new ideas and be able to implement quickly (eg demonstrate velocity) – if your recruitment and TA function needs to pivot a little, do it. Explain to your Executive team and employees why you are innovating.

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Don’t box people in. Don’t create processes, procedures and practices that impede people within the company from making contributions to improve your recruitment and TA function.

Employ positive disruptors in your recruitment and TA team. Look for those in your team who will challenge the status quo and offer creative and disruptive ideas that will improve elements of your recruitment and TA process, thus leading to better hires

Embrace innovation and failing fast

Yes, this feels uncomfortable. After all you are trying to create a consistent approach for all candidates who move through your company recruitment process right? But brutally speaking – innovate or die.

Where candidates are open to providing feedback at interview, ask how your company’s process compares to others they have been involved in. Better yet, send every candidate a simple Survey Monkey questionnaire (whether they are successful in securing a role with you or not). This allows you to learn more about their experience with your recruitment process.

In addition, if you have a TA methodology in place (eg you stay in touch with candidates via LinkedIn or a monthly digital newsletter), regularly survey passive candidates. Check to see if the content you are providing is offering them value.

Consider this. Historically, interview processes have looked to weed out candidates, not to screen them in. How can you change this in your company? For example, consider improving the way you brief candidates before they interview with you.

You want candidates to perform at their best at interview, not bomb because they are ridiculously nervous and don’t know what to expect from the interviewers or the process.

Consider automation to cut down on repetitive and manual processes where possible. But make sure you don’t automate components that will risk creating an exceptional candidate experience.

Look for ideas and innovation in other sectors. Often disruption comes from those companies outside your industry sector. Read widely and listen to reputable podcasts. This allows you to hear experts in other sectors talk about how they are disrupting their own approaches to processes and methodologies.


Imagine if you could tap into another 5%, 8% or 10% of the brain power within your company. The impact of new ideas to better source, attract, recruit and onboard talented individuals will most certainly increase. Asking your employees for innovative and disruptive ideas to improve your recruitment and TA function. It is the key to staying ahead of your competition and making exceptional hires.

Readily accept ideas for innovation and change in your recruitment and TA function. If you have the luxury of time, introduce innovation one change at a time. That way you can measure the effectiveness of each change and its impact on securing more talented people to join your company.

Alternatively, completely flip your recruitment and TA process on its head with informed feedback from the brainpower of those within your company. This is easier said than done in a larger company. However, it is a more viable option in a smaller company or start up.

Further Reading and Resources

Scott Hamilton Hire Power Radio – Disruption will impact your business and it is coming faster than you think. Are you prepared? (PODCAST)

3 Brain Hacks Leaders Use to Unleash Their True Potential

2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends

The Rise of the Social Enterprise – 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends

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