Recruitment denotes a broad set of business processes and human activities that enable cross-functional teams to optimize their collective efficacy by adding complimentary skillsets, hard and soft. Done well, recruiting can be an incredible business enabler which allows a team to add the right specialist knowledge, at the right time, with maximal impact across the whole organisation. Done badly, recruiting can be a drain on time and resources, with long-term damage to output and morale that can be hard to undo.

Each set of recruiting activities is heavily dependent upon the specific organisational needs, and will differ substantially from case to case. A five-person startup has very different requirements to a publicly listed multinational. However, there are a set of core elements that form the kernel of a well-designed recruitment process, and these elements can be adapted as required. These core elements can further be understood as posing a series of optimization problems.

By understanding the optimization dynamics at every stage, a management team should be able to design and implement a recruitment process that is perfectly suited to their own business needs, balancing the interplay of budget, timelines and human inputs to push towards best case scenarios which cater for growth and resilience.

  • Recruitment is an optimization challenge where competing priorities seek expression in formal business schema. These competing priorities can often be characterized in terms of:
    • short-term v long-term
    • static v evolving
    • top-down v bottom-up
    • large budget v small budget
    • candidate-driven market v employer-driven market
    • culture-driven company v outcomes-driven company
  • There is no singular best solution to this optimization challenge.
    • all that can be done is to find the best model for the needs of a specific organisation
    • it will require thinking about the organisation across multiple dimensions: marketing, sales, engineering, biz ops, public relations etc
  • Recruiting is a team game, and requires great planning, communication, collaboration and agility
    • everyone in the business can be a recruiter
    • a healthy recruiting function is a good indicator of a healthy business
  • Recruitment involves people, who can be unpredictable
    • plan for the unexpected, but pay attention to patterns
    • repeatedly doing the basics well tends to result in positive outcomes


Below is a set of resources which may be useful if you want to explore any of these topics in greater detail:

  • http://booleanblackbelt.com/
  • https://www.sourcing.games/
  • https://www.socialtalent.com/blog
  • https://builtin.com/tech-recruiter-resources
  • https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/

Fergus O'Brien
Fergus O'Brien

Fergus is a Talent Acquisition consultant, with experience in FinTech recruitment and executive search. He is an advocate of further learning and de-centralized education.