Leadership Recruitment

A.B.C.D of Recruitment

November 13, 2018

In this technological era, where the workplace dynamics are changing every 18 months, the need to have “Future Ready” leaders is a must have for all organisations. Talent acquisition teams and human resources leaders today have a Herculean task at hand which makes this function even more imperative than ever before. The need to have leaders who think progressive and act proactively has become the need for any organization to sustain and grow itself in this VUCA world.

The question that most of the talent acquisition leaders today need to ask is – Do we have the right approach to acquiring the right talent, or are we just picking the best? Why did the best-in-market hire not meet the performance expectation? If these are some puzzles that remain unsolved in your organisation, then you are probably not changing the way the world is changing. The VUCA way.

In my short, yet impactful, experience through working with the best consulting companies, I have had the opportunity to take a peep into the talent acquisition functioning of many organisations. My observation is that nearly most hirers are still practising the conventional rule of hiring – selecting people based on relevant experience, past knowledge and needed skills. While this methodology was quite a hit until the economic recession of 2008, the world has gradually begun to look out for the so-called “softer aspects” in much more limelight than before, as a pre-work to a hiring decision.

The interesting times that we are living in is a lot more complex than it was a decade ago – the uncertainty of the business world, introduction of new technologies, diverse workforce and volatile environment, are gradually placing the skills and knowledge lower in the essentials list, compared to yester-years. These variables are here to stay, and amidst this, we still need to ensure we have the right people on the bus to steer the desired results. How? An effective solution in my view is that the new age organisations should shift their prime focus from experience, skill and knowledge, to ideal “Fitment Combinations”. That said, what are these ideal “Fitment Combinations” that the progressive recruiter is hunting for?

It is what I call as the A.B.C.D. of recruitment. As basic as it may sound (ABCD), this methodology can ensure high longevity and productivity of the talent acquired.

  • A - Ability of Agility
    In this fast-moving age, where the dynamics change every 18 – 24 months, the ability to be agile is most essential in a future leader. Ability to learn and unlearn is the key to growth and sustenance in and all leadership roles today and tomorrow. If the Ordinary achieve extraordinary results, Agility is one of their best-kept secrets.
  • B - Boss Fitment 
    People do not quit jobs, people leave bosses. A clash of personality and cognitive thinking in a reporting relationship can cause a bad attrition in the organisation. A recruiter should always be mindful about the complexity in the personality of the hiring manager and should then scout for suitable candidates who will complement the working style of the individual in power. This will ensure quick and stronger induction of the hire into the organisation leading to higher productivity and a longer stint.
  • C - Cross-Cultural Fitment
    As the global workplace is shrinking, organisations today are hand-picking the best talent from different parts of the world to ensure their competitive edge in the industry. Leaders of tomorrow ought to be well versed with the art of managing cross-cultural diversity. People from different castes, religions, colours, genders, nationalities can come together unanimously for a single greater cause only when their differences are respected and well managed - making it imperative for the organisations to have leaders who can enact mutual respect and inclusion of diversity.
  • D - DNA Fitment
    As a recruiter, you should be certain about the founding stones - the “values” of your organisation – these are essentially the fundamentals that your organisation needs to live by, every day, every transaction, every conversation. While recruiting talent, you need to make sure you hire people who are in-line with the value systems of the organisation, carry the right drivers to participate in your organisation’s goals. A great leader with unmatched value and misaligned drivers can lead to a huge cultural disturbance, which might take years to recover.

As easy as it is said, taking a peep into the human mind, understanding the deep drivers, identifying the motivators, recognising the value system and its origin and strength, demand expertise.

In recognition of this complexity in hiring the right talent, the progressive organisations today are adding an extra layer of assessments to ensure the 'Fitment Combination' of today’s leaders for tomorrow. However, only a handful of them are getting it right. A check-in-the-box activity will only yield as many results. The successful organisations say that they drive selection assessments as a critical process, in appreciation of the huge adverse consequences on future business otherwise.

I would like to take you back to the same question - Do we have the right approach to acquiring the right talent, or are we picking just the best? Further, is our recruitment approach good in practice or merely in theory?

Most of the talent acquisition leaders today tend to compromise on the authenticity of the process under the pressure of closing the positions within defined time limits, and this is stemming out to be a major cause of “people problems” in the organisation. We all agree performance effectiveness is as important for the individual leader and his/her motivation, as is for the organisation’s growth. Ergo, a recruiter’s responsibility is two-fold.

The A.B.C.D methodology will help you create a conducive working environment for tomorrow despite diverse hiring and mixed-bag personality leadership teams. You will know you are working with the right partner when they appreciate your A.B.C.D. and align their processes to hire the Right and not just the Best.

Happy Hiring!


  • Recruitment
  • Leadership Recruitment