1st in a 5 part series on Human Capital Management: 2 Employee Engagement, 3 Performance Management, 4 Retention, 5 Conflict Management

Precision Recruitment

We have had an explosion of progress on the technology and process dimensions over the last 30 years. Now it’s the turn of the people dimension (our talent). CEOs around the world are beginning to realize that talent management is the next big competitive battleground. Because of low birth rates there simply are too few talented people in the market and corporations are recruiting from an ever-diminishing pool. And the most important stage of talent management to get right is the first one, recruitment.

Two further forces have combined to bring about this focus on talent.

The first is the recognition in boardrooms around the world that highly talented people are frequently recruited only to subsequently perform at 40% efficiency. Something seems to go wrong when people are placed in their new teams.

The second is the emergence of a new science that can build predictably high-performing teams, every time. It’s based on a ground-breaking insight into peoples’ natural strengths and talents. This teaming science has emerged out of research in businesses that shows that peoples’ natural strengths and talents are of far greater importance than anyone ever realized in determining whether or not we will be effective at our jobs. It is able to map our natural strengths and talents in a manner that can be read by any manager, not just HR.

Three forces driving the need for precision recruitment:

  1. Low birth rates
  2. Talented individuals performing poorly in teams
  3. Emergence of teaming science


By combining people who possess complementary natural strengths and talents for the team’s mission, a successful team can be virtually guaranteed (99.7% accuracy) at the outset. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the new teaming science. For the first time ever, managers are able to put together individuals knowing that they will combine effectively. Not only that, they will display measurably high levels of employee engagement (job satisfaction) while corporate retention rates will skyrocket. The old cycle of constant churn is already changing out of all recognition.

Recruitment is the Start

Recruitment is clearly the first stage of the human capital management process. Teaming science allows line managers to specify the natural strengths and talents they want candidates to possess (along with skills and experience) for the role. A sophisticated but remarkably swift screening process assesses the candidates and allows the line managers to measure the candidates’ match to the perfect model precisely. The process can be likened to one of those nursery toys where the toddler must choose the right shape piece for the hole. All of us have a certain ‘shape’. Our shape and the shape of the team vacancy must match.

Employee Engagement

It is important to emphasize that this process is as beneficial to the candidate as it is to the organization doing the recruiting. Too many of us (80%, according to the Deloitte Shift Index) hate our jobs and long to be somewhere else. This is as much the fault of recruiters as it is of candidates. A precision recruitment process will see candidates join their new organization and become engaged, confident employees who look forward to coming to work.

Team Talent Management

Teaming science has a twin focus. The natural strengths and talents of the individual are the prime driver. But, just like a jigsaw puzzle, the individual must be placed in a team that has a talent gap of the same ‘shape’. Clearly, to match the two together, it is imperative to possess and be able to use the correct tools to measure and calibrate the shape of the individual and the shape of the gap. This, in essence, is what the new teaming science has achieved.

Recruitment Comes of Age

Science has improved our health, our technology, our environment and many other areas of our lives. Now, the hit and miss affair of recruitment stands to benefit from science’s gentler side. In a few years’ time, intuition bolstered by a CV and combined with the occasional psychometric tool will be seen as the recruitment equivalent of the blunderbuss. In other words, far too inaccurate far too often.

Talent management based on teaming science that recruits for mission-perfect teams is where the next explosion of progress lies.

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