The Secret Sauce To Recruiting Top Performers

Recruitment is one of the most important components of human resource management. It is also one of the easiest components to get wrong – from attracting poor quality applicants, to letting conscious/unconscious bias seep into decisions, to selecting the wrong candidate and having to let them go 6 months later – there are a huge number of risks involved.

Unfortunately, research indicates most companies are not successfully managing these risks. Nearly three in four employers have been affected by a bad hire, and two in three workers say they have accepted a job and later realised it was a bad fit. Half of these workers end up leaving within 6 months[1].

This has a massive impact on the organisation, which many business leaders will not realise as the costs do not appear on the P&L or balance sheet.

These can include the following:

  • Time. Consider the amount of time spent on the recruitment process – this can include screening, interviews, reference checks, and internal discussions. If a candidate doesn’t work out, you have essentially wasted all this time.
  • Financial. There is a considerable amount of cost involved in the recruitment process, and if you place the wrong candidate, it is an expensive exercise for a poor result. These costs can include job board listings, external recruiters (ranging between $5,000 – $25,000 per placement), and salaries (you have lost half their annual salary if it doesn’t work out by 6 months).
  • Productivity. Consider the costs of reduced morale, the hit to company culture, and the effect having a poor performer in the team would have on team dynamics would have to the proper functioning of your business.

Estimates place the total cost of the above to be at least 50%, and up to 150%, of the failed employee’s annual salary, without getting any of the benefits of paying that salary![2]

So, why does this occur?

Think about all the times you have heard colleagues, managers, or even friends tell you about their experiences with candidates who did not work out. What do these stories have in common?

They made decisions based on their gut feel, they placed the candidate out of desperation, or the candidate ‘performed so well in the interview’ which was unstructured and didn’t have any behavioural questions!

In short, they didn’t use any form of objective data or structure when conducting their recruitment process.

Peoplogica have assisted our clients with their recruitment process for over 15 years. Our experience has provided us with what we like to call the ‘secret sauce’ of recruitment, and we are happy to share this with you. Our clients have rarely used this process and not ended up with a top performer, so consider giving it a go in your own company if you are struggling.

Attraction: You have a 100% failure rate of selecting the best person for the role if they don’t apply for the role in the first place!
Developing a persuasive and behavioural job advertisement which appeals to your ideal candidate is crucial in ensuring you have a strong applicant pool. We utilise psychometric testing and behavioural science to assist our clients attract the candidates they would love to have, rather than candidates who have the bare minimum (or worse).

Screening: Conscious and unconscious bias has a huge effect on determining who makes it to first interview, whether we are aware of it or not. Therefore, we utilise skills testing to identify which candidates have the critical skills and knowledge to succeed in the role and screen out those who do not. This not only improves accuracy, but the efficiency of the process.

First Interviews: Rather than asking candidates to ‘tell us about yourself’, we have developed a set of standardised first interview questions available on our website which adds structure and therefore accuracy to your first interview process. You can’t compare candidates if you don’t standardise your questions, and if you improve the quality of these questions, you are already on the right track to improving recruitment accuracy.

Psychometric Assessments: Assessing candidates and comparing their results to role benchmarks provides a prediction of how likely they are to meet and beat expectations should they be offered the role. It also adds structure to your second interview process, by generating targeted behavioural interview questions for each area they do not meet the role benchmark. Finally, it provides you with additional information that even the most skilled interviewer could not pick up, ensuring your decisions are as informed and objective as possible.

Second Interviews: With the psychometric assessment as a guide, you can be well prepared to enter the second interviews with candidates. You can further drill down on strengths and development areas, getting a feel for what support (if any) they may require if they attain the position.

Reference checks. Check at least two of these and ensure you ask the same questions to each referee. Ensure a mix of referees from each previous position and investigate on LinkedIn whether they are a legitimate reference, or just one of their mates.

The result of this is a consistent selection of top performers, a near eradication of conscious and unconscious bias, and a better candidate experience.

If you would like to explore our method in more detail, please contact us at



Written by Peoplogica

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