The best way to secure the best talent! Agile recruitment part 1/4

Having worked with recruitment in several different countries in Europe, I can with great confidence say that recruitment practises here in Norway (both in-house and external) are as far from agile as anywhere else. Processes are far too defined, results are focused on the process and not the hire, things move slow, there is little dialogue between recruiter and company or in-house recruiter and line manager. The list goes on…

Over the next four weeks we will write a series of 4 blog posts in relation to Agile Recruitment. If you want more insight into this, please listen to  this episode of Smidigpodden with Ida Kjær from DNB and Tobias Falkberger from Norsk RiksTV. Here we talk about agile recruitment and how this is in the process of disrupting how things have been done in Norway up until now.

NB. Due to COVID we will not be holding any new breakfast seminars about this topic, but for a video-presentation of our seminar from 2020, please feel free to get in touch.


Part 1- Why not?

Well let`s face it; Agile is on everyone`s lips these days, that be in relation to Software Development, Digitalisation, Project Management, Agile Growth, Agile Culture and more. Is it not strange that we don’t talk about Agile in relation to recruitment? We live in a world in which we are more and more dependant on technology. We sacrifice large part of our existence and future to things that is supported by Agile such as software, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science etc. Surely, we should also aim to be more Agile when it comes to recruitment?

Yes, we should, and it is an untapped resource.

What is a non-agile recruitment process?

A non-agile recruitment process is rigid and detailed. It sets out for you to do so and so this week and so and so the next week (it goes on), and if you stick to the plan you then think you have achieved your targets. Example:

  • Week 1-3 preparing to launch position
  • Week 3-7 advertising or search
  • Week 8-9 first stage interviews
  • Week 10-12 second stage interviews and tests
  • Week 13. References
  • Week 14 offer to candidate.

The above is the total opposite to agile.  Put in other words; the opposite to agile recruitment is:

  • Not starting before you are 100% ready and have sign-off
  • You set a too defined job specification
  • You set specific targets and goals focused on sticking to a plan / process
  • You have a very rigid and defined process without short sprints and thus not learning and constant changes
  • You have the same process for all candidates

I guess you can familiar yourself with some of the above. Nothing wrong with that. It is how things have been done for many years. But what are the implications of non-agile recruitment processes?

  • You could risk losing the best candidate due to the timeline set out
  • You can risk losing the best candidate due to not starting early enough
  • You could risk losing the best candidate due to having too specific target of what you need / want
  • You spend more time thus have a higher cost
  • It will be longer time before candidate can start, thus higher cost
  • It can weaken your reputation and employer brand.

So have a good think about this. Perhaps you already now can start thinking about how agile principles will benefit you and your organisation?

Next week we will be touching on the “good stuff”: What agile principles you can implement to your recruitment process (either in-house or by using an agency).

For a chat about recruitment, please feel free to contact Erik Falk Hansen on / 40 43 54 93. AvantGarde Search is a true specialist and recruit to technology companies all over Norway. Our focus is on recruiting management talent, technology talent and talent within sales, marketing and design.