Three tips for a strong recruitment strategy

Business analyst and music producer Wolf Logist worked in the HR sector for several years before joining Wodan & Co. He knows better than anyone the pitfalls of recruiting new employees. In this blog text, he lists a number of tips and insights for a sustainable recruitment strategy. 


A strong recruitment strategy is indispensable for companies that want to grow and keep their employees motivated, happy and productive. If you get the recruitment process wrong, you will quickly realise that an extra employee will not necessarily help your company grow. Employees who are unmotivated, show little initiative and do not feel called upon to help their team outside of their duties do not benefit the team spirit and productivity in a company.  

But how do you recruit the right people?

1. Make clear to yourself what you expect from a new employee

The person in charge of recruiting new employees must be very clear about the exact tasks for which the person is being hired. Too often, there is still a discrepancy between what new employees think their tasks are and what the employer actually expects. 

Make a clear distinction between the 'point on the horizon', the ultimate goal towards which an employee is working, and the specific tasks and steps that need to be followed to reach that goal. Many managers know the 'higher goal' they are recruiting their employees for, but do not put in enough effort to define a specific set of tasks with intermediate goals or targets. They assume that employees themselves can determine which tasks they need to perform in order to reach that goal, but new employees often do not have that experience. School leavers or junior profiles in particular want to know what to expect, so that they know immediately whether the range of tasks is a good fit with their skillset and/or ambitions. More experienced profiles often know the typical tasks of a certain function, but sometimes struggle with the sector-specific etiquette and functioning.

I have seen enough people being hired on the assumption that the new employee will 'take care of that'. In practice, this is not always obvious, and such disconnects naturally make it difficult to keep new employees on board.  

So how should you do it? Draw up a clear set of tasks and give the applicants the higher goal you want to achieve with it. A good objective ensures that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet and forms a framework that, even if the market changes and the package of tasks takes on a different form, ensures that you, as an employee, know what to expect and how to profile yourself in it. Also provide concrete, well thought-out training opportunities so that candidates immediately feel that there is a clear plan for them and the company. It also helps to give them a future perspective within the company.

2. Define a recruitment strategy and know what you stand for as a company

When it comes to effective recruitment, there are a whole series of questions you need to ask yourself before you start applying and interviewing. Will you work with partners for the recruitment or will you do it alone? Which platforms will you use to make the application as visible as possible? Your website? Your social media? Or are you going to look in your own networks offline? But also: what is a competitive salary package for the profile you are looking for? Will you be offering a company car? What about working from home?  

Job applicants are no longer afraid to ask critical questions, and your employer branding is more important than ever to attract the right people and keep them on board. Everyone knows the reputation of Microsoft, for example: it is hard work, but there are good facilities, you earn a good living and you learn a lot. What image do you want your company to have? A good work-life balance with a strong salary package? Are you aiming for a good working and team atmosphere? A beautiful office? Is it about hybrid work or do you go full remote? Can you work with flexible hours?

You must have clear answers to all these questions. Standards have changed: too strict a rule on working from home can be enough for many to choose the competitor. Surveys indicate that people generally prefer to work half the time at the office and the other half from home. This way, they are sufficiently committed to the team, but still have the benefits and freedom of working from home. In almost all sectors, we notice a shift towards more remote working. The extent to which you do that as a company is of course up to you. But you must also be able to indicate this clearly when applying for a job: people do not like to be confronted with surprises.

3. Embrace the power of diversity

There is enormous value in working with people from different cultural or social backgrounds, or of different genders or origins. To take an example from the audio industry: the well-known Dr Dre, together with entrepreneur and record producer Jimmy Lovine, founded Beats Electronics, with its famous headphone brand Beats by Dre - which has now been sold to Apple for several billion euros. In a recent interview, they said it was a shame that there was still so little real cooperation between white and black people, because it could be just as valuable if you learn to deal with each other's differences.  

Although companies are increasingly aware of recruiting more diverse profiles, they are not yet able to make this diversity work for them. They are not yet inclusive enough at all levels of the company. The click must be there at management level, but it must seep through to every corner of the organisation to reap maximum benefits.

In other words, diversifying your business should not stop at recruitment, but should be incorporated and radiated into the corporate culture. Jimmy Iovine states: "I consider African-American culture, black culture, one of the most underutilised and underappreciated assets that America has". And there is a lot to be said for this on this side of the Atlantic as well.

Please note that we have talked about cultural diversity here, but the balance between men and women and young and old should also be good. A healthy mix benefits everyone and ensures that you can create as much value as possible for your company and your employees, but also for your customers. And isn't that what every business leader wants?