Recruitment Methods

The foundation of every recruitment assignment is the client brief.  We spend as much time with our clients as they are happy to give us; the initial meeting may take one to two hours, but once the process is under way we will be keen to spend time in the relevant functions to gain as full a picture as possible of the job, its context and challenges, the competencies it will require, and, above all, of the blend of style and approach needed to help candidates to fit in most effectively.  This brief is crucial to the information we share with candidates to enthuse and excite them, and to our assessment of them in the interview process.


Recruitment by Advertising

From the response our advertisements generate we’ll set out to interview fifteen, twenty or even more people to ensure that we can present to our clients the greatest breadth of options.  In any campaign there will be five or six obviously strong possibilities, but there will also be a wider group of candidates who might be relevant – if they can be given a chance to demonstrate it.  We firmly believe that our clients are paying us for our time as much as our expertise, so we’ll invest our time with candidates on their behalf.


In our meetings with candidates we’ll brief them thoroughly on the role and its context before moving onto an assessment of their competencies for the job.  We shouldn’t need to say this, but these meetings always take place in person and they are always carried out by the consultant who took the brief. Advertised assignments typically take five or six weeks to complete and result in shortlists of three, four, or five candidates.

Executive Search

We believe that search is appropriate when only a relatively small number of candidates can meet the spec and it is possible to identify a finite number of companies in which they are likely to be working. Our approach is therefore built on an agreement about the organisations in which the right candidate may be working.

From that point our researchers establish the names of potentially relevant job holders and we’ll review those details with our clients to verify that we are addressing the most appropriate sources (“target companies”) and then follows a set pattern:

  • Every candidate who is not eliminated by the client is then approached by a researcher;
  • Additional information is gained, and if they remain appropriate, they are invited to meet the consultant.

It usually takes about a week to establish a list of target companies, two to four weeks to establish the names of potential candidates, and three to four weeks for the interview process. Thus within six to nine weeks of the start of the search we are able to introduce the client to a shortlist of three, four or five fully screened, appropriate and interested candidates.

Hybrid Assignments

A hybrid approach is relevant where candidates can feasibly drawn from a wide range of backgrounds – which makes advertising pertinent – but would be particularly interesting to the client if they came from a tightly defined group of companies (usually eight to ten in number).

In Hybrid projects we support an advertised campaign with an Executive Search in which we apply the principles outlined above but without presenting formal organisation charts. The timescale for hybrid projects is typically five to seven weeks between the start of the assignment and the presentation of the shortlist.

Shortlist Arrangements and After

At the start of every project we establish a date for the shortlist and to fix the venue. As background to the shortlist interviews we’ll provide full candidate details together with our assesments in which we’ll highlight areas of both interest and concern and provide our judgement on how readily the candidate will fit into the client’s structure.

These assessments unashamedly focus on qualitative issues of the candidates’ approach style and impact – because we know that the client can judge the purely quantitative information from the career summaries. This information is sent to the client at least three working days before the shortlist interviews take place.

Finalising Appointments

From any shortlist we would hope and expect that there will be at least two candidates that the client will be keen to consider further and we are always keen to support that stage of the process as much as we can. Often we’ll plan the final interview dates and location before the shortlist takes place, and we stay in close contact with both clients and candidates in confirming specific arrangements.

We’re also conscious that we can have a very important part to play in making the job offer. Our position in the process enables both clients and candidates to raise issues with us that might be difficult to surface directly at this delicate stage of the relationship, and, because our policy of basing our fees on a fixed notional salary eliminates any possible hint of commercial interest, we can offer real and constructive advice on any rewards issues that need to be negotiated.

Psychometric Assessment

We believe that Psychometric Assessment can play a very valuable part in reaching effective selections and we offer this service as an addition to our consultancy contribution. Our assessment capabilities are based on major and widely used and respected instruments and our general principle is that tests should be administered to all shortlisted candidates before clients them, so they can identify areas which may need closer examination during the interview.

In personality profiling we are able to apply and interpret the SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire, the 16 PF and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the choice depends entirely on our clients’ preferences. In assessing intellectual ability, we generally recommend the use of the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, combined with the SHL Numerical Reasoning Test (NMG) – though we are able to call on a wider range of SHL instruments if needed.

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