In Bob Proctor’ book ‘The ABC’s of Success’, Proctor speaks of applying the concept of Straight A’s to achieving anything… the straight A’s being:

1. Awareness

2. Acceptance

3. Alteration

4. Achievement


There is much to be said for these 4 steps, particularly in relation to recruitment. But how can we apply these – especially when outsourcing our recruitment needs and partnering with an agency to achieve our hiring outcomes? How do we, as a business, apply this process to achieve hiring success? Here are the four key steps…

Step 1: Knowing what you want.

Awareness stems from knowing what it is that you are seeking prior to speaking to a recruitment provider. No, I don’t mean that you have a vague idea – I mean you know exactly the type of profile you are looking to hire based on research, discussions, profiling and insight into your business.

  • Have you (as a business) created a proper job brief to offer your recruiter? Does it include all elements of the position description as well as clear and detailed appraisal of competency requirements?
  • Have you written a candidate profile stating the exact profile of the successful candidate, their behavioural competencies, strengths, attitude, value set?

An experienced recruiter will always seek to fully understand your requirements and therefore will question you around these key areas, however your preparation here is paramount to the overall success of your hire. Know what you seek before engaging a recruitment partner.

Step 2: Accepting the Rules of the Game.

When working with a Recruiter, it is vital to understand the process they follow and their expectations of you. Yes, they do have their own set of requirements to be able to assist you in your search for your next great hire.

There is much to do prior to achieving ‘hiring bliss’.

Firstly, do your research on the recruiter. Ensure that you chose to work with a recruitment partner that mirrors your company values and truly understands your hiring needs.

Remember: Working with multiple recruiters on the same roles will usually harm your chances of hiring effectively.

Many companies believe that handing out job specifications to recruiters like candy, will achieve a greater talent pool selection. This is not the case but rather wreaks havoc on the entire recruitment process. All you are achieving, by not working exclusively with your Recruiter, is dilution of the effort they place on your hire, while they place 100% effort on the jobs they are working on exclusively.

From the candidate’s perspective, it also results in total frustration. Engaging many recruiters means:

  • multiple advertisements on job boards for the same role
  • multiple postings on social media or the same role
  • Talent search resulting in multiple recruiters contacting the same identified pool of talent for the exact same role.

Think carefully regarding your recruitment strategy, your reason for outsourcing, the type of recruiter you seek to partner with and of course the specific profile of the ‘right talent’ for the position.

Engaging a Recruitment Partner is the just beginning

Once this is done, your recruiter will establish time frame expectations with you. They will expect timely turn around on:

  • All calls placed to you/ all contact made (within the same day)
  • Same day contact regarding candidates recommended for interview
  • Same day candidate feedback after interview
  • Speedy response to all conversations regarding offer and contract (same day/ next day)

The hiring process only works smoothly if all parties involved are equally committed to the same outcome and have an exact same understanding of the requirements of the role and ultimately the successful candidate.

Step 3: Alteration of the Rules

Your relationship with your recruiter is one of partnership. At all times, there must be clear communication flowing in a timely manner that suits both parties.

It is sometimes necessary to re-establish or alter set expectations for the overall good of the relationship. If this is the case, do so quickly, as time is paramount to the successful attraction, selection and ultimate hire of any new team member.

Step 4: Achieving the end GOAL

Recruitment is not a game of chance. It is one of applied skill – a craft.

It is not a game of speed despite the speed in sourcing and securing the right talent.

It is a process where you – the Client, are seeking value in Talent Identification. Talent you cannot reach yourself – unique talent.

Your recruitment partner provides the human element that not only sources this unique talent, (finding the talent is just the beginning), but also connect all the dots along the road to ‘Achievement’.

So, whether you recruit hundreds of employees per year or only a few, always ensure that you apply straight ‘A’s to your process to ensure a straight A result!