As a recruitment and retention coach, clients often come to me having experienced a recruitment failure.

In fact, 85% of HR decision makers admit that their organisations have made recruitment mistakes (according to a report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation this year).


 There are a number of factors that often become clear when evaluating an organisation’s recruitment process. As a starting point, often the job descriptions don’t reflect the actual job that needs doing, nor do they accurately reflect the motivations needed by the person required to do it! This means that the wrong candidates apply, interviewers assess the wrong skills and experience and ultimately the wrong person is hired.

When it comes to recruiting, the secret is to know yourself first, what gaps you need to fill and then get to know the candidate. 


Take your time to know what you really need. Evaluate your own decision-making style and motivational traits (not forgetting the gaps).

Our own unconscious bias can influence how we judge others, and therefore hinder the recruitment process. This is where the LAB profile (or behavioural profiling) steps in. Knowing your own motivations will shine a light on what needs to be present in a candidate, in order to bring either a complementary working style, or to fill a gap this is missing in your or your team’s skill set.

Write an effective and performance-motivating job profile.

Once you know what motivational traits your candidate needs to have, you can write a job description that actually appeals to and attracts those people. Focus on how the candidate should be motivated in order to want to do the job within your specific team environment. Rather than a skills and experience check list, concentrate on actual deliverables the candidate will need to deliver within specific timescales, instead of broad overviews. Drilling down into what kind of candidates you really want to attract will save time further down the line!

Don’t jump straight into interviews, introduce a structured screening process.

Interviews are hugely time consuming and shouldn’t be rushed into. Screening applicants on the phone can separate the well suited from the unsuited. We use the LAB profile to do pre-screening telephone interviews for clients – which allows us to listen to a candidate’s language patterns and decipher how they think, make decisions and act. Then we can match these to the motivations required in your ideal candidate, ensuring that they will truly be motivated and committed to the role.

Time to go face-to-face: Interviews. Prepare thoroughly, and know what you are looking and listening for.

Interviews are a critical stage of recruitment. Using a scoring methodology allows you to have a set of markers with which to compare candidates. Decision makers and interviewers should agree who will ask which questions, listening for gaps and probing further. An understanding of the LAB profile is invaluable to delve beyond what a candidate is saying (or often just reciting) and listen to what they’re saying between the lines.

Don’t neglect the post-interview debrief.

After each interview, it’s key to sit down and have a thorough debrief with all the interviewers. Firstly run through your initial reactions to a candidate. Then, discuss how you’ve scored them. We find that when each interviewer reveals their scoring and explains the reasons why, the reality of how a candidate answered the question or whether they can actually do the job often comes to light. Allowing you to make a more objective, cold light of day assessment! This will make it easier to know why you are rejecting or progressing the candidate, without any second guessing or time wasting.

Don’t forget; when it comes to recruiting, the secret is to know yourself first, what gaps you need to fill and then get to know the candidate.  

Recrion provides coaching support to companies of all sizes to refine their recruitment process and avoid bad hires..

 What my clients have to say…

“Katherine is a pleasure to work with. Without using words, Katherine’s approach disrupts a train of thought and makes you very aware of your unconscious assumptions. This causes you to validate or ignore them, which is extremely useful when making an important hiring decision.”

“Working with Katherine has been enlightening in two aspects. First, we worked on my personal profile, which has taught me a lot about myself and the way I interact with people. Second, she is a master of the LAB profile… Knowing a candidate’s motivation patterns allows me to adapt my own communication style to them in such a way that they feel motivated and committed to the company.”