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Are you looking for the right 'stuff' when you recruit?

Posted by
21 Jul 2014

What are we really looking for when we recruit new individuals to our businesses?

As you may know, we recently attended part of the Liverpool International Festival for Business, where we had a stand across the two days of the 'Grown your Own Talent' portion of the event. I personally was on our stand on the Tuesday where I also had the opportunity to enjoy a few of the speakers.

The two that really stood out for me were Roger Philby, CEO of The Chemistry Group, and his presentation on 'Measuring talent and predicting the future' and Jonathan Campbell, CEO of Social Talent, and his talk on 'How to find and attract talent like a social ninja.'

Jonathan's talk was extremely relevant for us as a business. There are many excellent candidates who we have known over a number of years - however there will of course be a 'hidden' number of talented individuals who are not pro-actively looking for a new role who we also need to tap in to. Jonathan and his team completely understand the importance of social media in the recruitment sector and were very helpful in passing on new ideas and skills as to how we can help our clients attract the best talent for their businesses.

For us as specialist recruiters it is essential that we up skill ourselves so we can go above and beyond to fill the sometimes challenging requirements of our clients.

I also found Roger Philby's ideas on how businesses analyse their best talent and then use this information to attract similar talent extremely interesting. His company take a more scientific approach to looking at measuring talent; he was keen to stress that business are getting it wrong by looking at a candidate's past experience.

Quoting the Harvard Business Review, he commented "Previous experience in every analysis is the least reliable predictor of the future”. 

Roger stressed that it is 'all the other stuff' that we need to really focus on - for example intellect, values, motivation, and behaviours. He noted that one of his recent clients were using an intelligence test on potential new hires to help recruit their new sales people. When they took time and analysed their current top sales people in the business, it was their high levels of 'fluid intellect' that was most common between them.

It was really interesting that he raised the point that some clients are testing individuals on what they think the business is looking for rather than knowing for definite what makes their most successful people then testing on that!

At Sellick Partnership, we work closely with Rob Gee, our non-executive director, who delivers brilliant in-house training on this important topic.

I think that he would agree with Roger on many things. Rob has helped ensure that Sellick Partnership recruit individuals on their 'values' knowing full well that it is the core values of an individual that drive them forward in both their personal and professional lives.

I love all this type of analysis as knowing this kind of 'stuff' helps us both as recruiters and managers to ensure that we are getting it right and then producing the best environment for our teams to develop and grow.

So, are you really looking for the right 'stuff' when going through your recruitment process? If you would like to discuss your current requirements, please contact me on 0151 2241480 or e-mail

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