Creating a Tailored Recruitment Process Part I

Context & Challenge

Our client, a middle-market investment banking organization with a small but growing number of employees, came to us with a need to revamp their recruitment processes. Their need was clear; the processes they had in place for filtering candidates during the initial stages of their interview process were not working. They repeatedly had candidates go through to the second round that were not a good fit for the role or company. Our client was using a third-party recruiter whose job was to filter candidates to the second round, where the company would then interview the candidates. Third-party recruiters were responsible for identifying candidates who were a good fit, based on their resume and an initial screening interview consisting of a telephone call. We found that our client needed a new set of screening mechanisms that better reflected the competencies and personality fit they wanted.

Our Process

To meet this challenge, we devised a plan to co-create new recruitment and selection processes with the client to more efficiently and effectively filter candidates during the interview process and then select the right people for the right roles based on competency and culture fit.

This project was outlined in two phases: recruitment and selection. For the first phase, our goal was to create questionnaires for the client that better reflected the competencies and characteristics needed for success. To do this, we worked with the client to facilitate a needs assessment to identify desired outcomes for the roles and conducted Behavioral Event Interviews (BEI) with model employees and those identified as experts in their roles to define the skills, abilities, and characteristics that determine success. Lastly, we did a culture analysis to define what a good culture fit meant for the organization. We were then able to create behavioral questions for the first and second rounds of the recruitment process that reflected these desired characteristics in candidates.

From there, we created Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS) to correspond to each question so that interviewers could assess candidates based on certain behavioral markers that indicated what a superior, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory response was. The scales focus on the behaviors determined to be key to performing the job properly rather than evaluating more general candidate characteristics, such as personality or experience. These scales help the interviewer rate candidates’ responses more equitably and improve rating consistency among interviewers.


If you are going to be selective in the type of candidates you want, you need to be selective in the entire process. Our client now has a better system for recruitment with questionnaires that target the competencies and characteristics that they value at the company and in candidates. Ensuring minimal bias by creating a standardized approach to the recruitment project was important to our client and us. Creating a recruitment method rooted in competencies and behaviors and a standardized guide for interviewers will help eliminate bias and improve consistency. Interviewers at the client organization are now equipped with the tools and resources necessary to make the most out of their time with candidates and compare candidates’ answers across a scoring matrix.

We are continually working with our client to ensure that the implementation goes smoothly and assist them in implementing this new system.

The second phase of the project, selection, will continue when the client has narrowed down the candidates to a small pool. We will then carry out our selection process and provide recommendations based on psychometric data, interviews, and competencies rooted in a success profile to determine who is the best fit for the role and organization.

KatieCreating a Tailored Recruitment Process Part I