The Seven Steps of Success (Talent Acquisition)

These "Seven Steps of Success for Talent Acquisition"  will lead you through an easy process of best practices, step by step. A great summary overview, to learn some new tricks or simply refresh your mind! This is part 1 of a series, providing the big picture overview (more details in the next modules). This will take you about 30 minutes. Let's get started!

1. Know the job

First... gain clarity about ALL THE TASKS!

Why "tasks first" is important

As a recruiter, never settle with simply receiving a briefing from your (internal or external) client on the knowledge, capabilities and competencies a candidate shall have. 

You MUST fully understand all the tasks the future employee will have to perform in his/her new job -- only then can you fully appreciate how knowledge, capabilities and competencies come to play. And you can help the client to deduce these based on the tasks to be performed.

But more importantly, as we will cover later, as a recruiter your job is not only to find the right talent and make them an offer - your job is all of that PLUS making sure the candidates will ACCEPT your offer! So, you also need to sell the job to an interested candidate, and any decent candidate will not want to know which competencies he will deploy, but ask you for the actual job s/he will be doing. Read on to find out more reasons why you REALLY need to know all the tasks (as well as defining the core tasks) for the vacancy at hand...

When gathering the requirements for an open position from my client, I shall first and foremost understand...

  • ... all the tasks the future employee will have to perform
  • ... only the skills, capabilities and competencies the client lists for this job

2. Know the client

"Zero in" versus "exploring the edges"

This one is easy - is it?

As long as you know what EXACTLY the ideal candidate looks like, you are good to go!                 "Zero in" is what it is all about... the perfect profile, and you take it from there.

In reality, perfect candidates are rare... and you MUST know and agree with the client where they are willing and able to accommodate the reality, where they can trade-off a lesser qualification for more experience, where less knowledge can be compensated by an achiever-mentality and willingness to learn. You cannot make up your own mind about this and present candidate profiles to your client that don't match your briefing... and THEN try to argue why YOU think it should be ok to make these trade-offs.

Understanding ideal features is the basis, knowing the space to negotiate on trade-offs makes the real pro!

What does it really mean - to know your client and "explore the edges" of a candidate profile?

3. Attract & filter

Elements of "attract & filter"

What are the crucial elements of an attractive job posting?

  • A killer title
  • The first 1-2 sentences, with a focus on the purpose of this project and the contribution in this role
  • The perspective of a career, beyond the current vacancy
  • A complete list of all tasks
  • Making it personal, candidate-centric

Effective & efficient filtering

Pre-filtering candidates is an art and a science (but you know that already).

The obvious objective is to get it just right - to not filter out too many applicatns that could have been great candidates, and not to leave in too many either, that will end up wasting interviewers' time...

Develop a pre-screening scorecard and jointly agree on

- CV-based, generic "killer elements" (e.g., "job hopper")

- CV-based, job-specific killers (focus only on those that are absolute killers - that's where "explore the edges" comes in, remember?!)

- If you can - refer to sound or video files (language criteria are obvious, consider asking candidates 3 specific questions to cover in their sound/video, and discuss if there are killer  criteria that can be judged and how). Alternatively, you can consider pre-screening phone calls. Keep those short and limited to killer criteria PLUS start selling the job at that point as well!

- Add pre-assessment tests

Now, you should have filtered for a great talent pool, with candidates ready to go to the interview stage!



4. Hire the best match

2 objectives of interviews

The 2 objectives of interviews are...

Any interviewer not only has to be able to  but also to . After all, making an offer is dependent on your candidate accepting it with excitement!

Evidence-based interviews

At Teledirect, we conduct "evidence-based interviews", also called behavioural interviews.

The main focus of evidence-based interview questions is to gather actual evidence about the past performance of your candidate on the job (as compared to questions that test knowledge outside of application or candidates portraying ideal profiles and giving answers they assume you expect them to give, e.g. when asking "what would you do if...").

1. Ask candidates to describe to you a situation from their current or past (jobs) where they have performed the same or a similar task as the core tasks on your list (now you know why step 1 includes to know all the job tasks!). Ideally, include 3 such questions for 3 different tasks.

You might want to ask for a situation where they achieved something great on this task, or mastered a particularly difficult situation.

2. Ask for more details - don't be shy to ask more questions about what exactly the situation was, what exactly was done, why that route was chosen, and what exactly the outcome was. 

3. Make sure your candidate talks only about his/her own actions... a red flag in evidence-based interviews is the word "we". Always clarify to understand what the candidate's contribution to a team effort was!

4. Selectively, you can go beyond the actual situation and the evidence described, and ask what the candidate has learned from this situation and whether s/he would do it any different next time (to explore the level of maturity, introspection and ability to learn and grow)



Choose all the evidence-based interview questions from the list below:

  • Tell me more about a time at work when you had to do {xxx}...
  • On tis job, you will have to do [xxx]. How would you approach this?
  • Among other tasks, [xxx] will be really important on this job. Can you describe to me a situation in your current or previous job, where you have achieved something outside on a task like this?
  • Let's role-play. I am a customer and you will have to do [xxx]. Show me how you would do it, please!
  • The basic knowledge about [xxx] is crucial for performance on this job. Tell me what you know about this topic.

5. Document findings and decisions

Interview scorecard and decision making process

What are the 3 highlights of this step #5 ?

(Hint: this should cover the "How to" about the scorecard as well as the decision!)

6. Close the deal

Speed matters!

Hippo or Cheetah?

Hippo or Cheetah?

Yes, one of the most important factors in closing the deal boils down to this ONE insight:


So, are you a hippo, or are you a cheetah?

Visualize the cheetah, and looking at its spots it will remind you of the essence of this guidance: ON THE SPOT!

Wherever possible, you have to communicate on the spot, your decision to hire this candidate, ideally extend the offer itself on the spot!

And while you are excited that your favourite candidate has accepted - signing the contract is only half the deal... it comes down to your candidate actually showing up on Day 1 (and still being excited about it!). You can increase chances for that to happen, by following our defined "Cultivation & Onboarding" process, to keep your candidates warm and make them feel welcome before they have even started.


Secure your candidate

  • on the spot
  • on the spot
  • cultivation & onboarding

7. Close the loop

How to make sure to increase your success even further over time

Once recruiting is done - are you done?

  • Once we have created the process and all the templates for a specific project / job position, it is best to keep it untouched for the next batch to be consistent
  • Throughout and after the recruiting efforts for a specific project / position, you have to take the time to evaluate what has worked and what not, what were best sources and design an improved process for the next batch




The 7 Steps of Success: Overview

All 7 steps at one glance

Thank you


Thank you for taking time for this eLearning.

We trust it was fun and informative and will be helpful for your recruiting efforts and improve your success.

Please, feel free to reach out to us with any further questions, requests for additional resources and your feedback. You can reach us under [email protected]

All the best!

Your Teledirect Talent Strategists (a.k.a. Regional HR)