Effective recruitment – about profiling in recruitment

Effective recruitment is the key to a company’s success

Every company dreams of a close-knit and efficient team. The work of such a team influences the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation, which in turn ensures higher profits. However, finding an employee with the right qualifications, competencies and personality traits to fit the team, the organisation’s culture and the challenges of the role is no easy task. The key is effective recruitment.

During the recruitment process, HR representatives and recruitment companies strive to ensure that the person selected is effective and appropriately matched to the rest of the team, as the wrong decision has many serious consequences.

What are the consequences of making the wrong decisions during recruitment?


One of the most common consequences of inappropriate candidate selection is employee turnover. Turnover, understood as the departure of employed people from their place of work, is associated with many problems that are felt throughout the organisation. There are many reasons for frequent team changes. However, according to research conducted by Harvard Business Review Polska, bad hiring decisions, caused by errors at the recruitment and selection stage, are responsible for 80% of employee turnover.

Increase in employment costs

Another serious consequence of ineffective recruitment, is the increased costs associated with the company’s search for a new candidate. Not all employers are aware that recruiting a new person to a job costs between 30% and 200% of the annual salary of the employee hired (Philips J.J., Edwards L., 2009). It should be noted that the higher the position to which the new person will be hired and the longer their seniority in the organisation, the higher the cost of a misguided recruitment is.

From the aforementioned data, we can clearly conclude that getting the right employee, matched to the organisation, is key!

So, what can we do to prevent inappropriate choices being made?

The selection of a new employee is very often made on the basis of a recruiter’s intuition, which unfortunately can be disastrous. The recruiter can fall into various traps that involve the limitations of human perception. In the course of a recruitment interview, we most often fall into the following traps:

the halo effect – this is a trap that involves drawing general conclusions about personality traits on the basis of a single trait – often made on the basis of a first impression (e.g. the candidate came punctually to a meeting = is responsible, reliable);

Ramsey error – the error of perceiving people who are similar to us in a positive way (e.g. the person has graduated in the same field of study as us – the likelihood of a positive perception of other aspects of their functioning increases);

ideal error – the error of creating a certain image of the ideal candidate and thus looking for a set of characteristics that are not possible to find in reality;

contrast effect – most often encountered when there are a small number of candidates in a given recruitment process, involving the juxtaposition of two candidates in isolation from the job requirements.

In order for the recruitment process to run more smoothly and for the selection of a candidate to be a hit, it is worth considering the use of modern tools to support recruitment processes. With recruitment tools (e.g. Ostendi Talent Hunter), it becomes possible to define the expected personality profile in advance and then check to what extent the candidate’s profile meets our expectations. Modern effective recruitment tools are a very important support for recruiters as they objectivise the observations made during the interview. This is confirmed by data published by the Society for Human Resource Management. It indicates that currently 80% of Fortune 500 companies in the US and more than 75% of the top 100 companies in the UK, use psychometric testing in their recruitment processes and see it as a key tool to support the hiring decision.

What should you do to ensure that the decision you make is effective recruitment?

Step 1: Identify the purpose of the position taking into account your company culture.

One of the key steps in profiling is to define the purpose of the position for which we are recruiting, i.e. to answer the following questions: Why is this position important to the organisation? How does it deliver the defined company strategy? Why is it important to other positions in the department? How does it fit into the atmosphere and culture of the company/department?

Step 2: Define the specific tasks of the position.

There is usually (!) no problem with this step in profiling, as defining the specific tasks assigned to the position is required by internal procedures and when creating the job advertisement.

Step 3: Define the candidate profile (personality, competence, qualification).

After you have successfully completed the previous two steps, reflect on the following: What personality traits / competencies / qualifications should a person have in order to be able to perform tasks in your organisation effectively? What personality traits / competences should a person possess in order to be able to enter the team quickly? What personality traits/competences should a person possess in order to build a cooperative partnership with his/her line manager? What personality traits/competencies/qualifications should she possess in order to feel satisfied with her tasks?

Step 4: Choose objectivised assessment methods (remember the candidate’s stamina!).

At this stage, think about what tools can objectivise your observation – do you want to use a personality questionnaire? or also tests from the cognitive test group? or perhaps an AC would be worthwhile?

Step 5: Think about which cognitive errors you make most often.

As Kamila Maria Kampa said: “The conscious has the will, the subconscious has the emotions” – so it is very important to become aware of which cognitive traps we ourselves most often fall into, because only then will we be able to control them and thus make more objective decisions.

Step 6: Observe and listen to the candidate

Observe and listen to the candidate, rather than looking for confirmation of your assumptions ????


Authors: Przemysław Groszfeld (Junior Content Specialist) and Dr. Bożena Roczniak (R&D Director)



Philips J.J., Edwards L., Managing Talent Retention: An ROI Approach, Pfeiffer, San Francisco 2009.