The best way to secure the best talent – Agile recruitment part 3/4

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 3: Agile specifics

As promised last week, today we will be looking at some more specific examples of how you can implement agile into recruitment tasks and processes. It is however important to stress that that the below examples cannot be identified with agile unless you follow the agile values throughout the whole process.


Many companies have secured good deals with advertisement boards such as Irrespective of position and irrespective of previous experience, new adverts are automatically posted via this channel. But why? Why are we not open to learning from experience? Why are we not open to more trial and fail? Try new channels, try different channels for different positions. Try one or more channels first and then review results after a week or two and then try something new.

While talking about advertisements. What about how we write them? Once I saw a company (oil and gas industry) advertising for 30 positions at different levels, both technical and non-technical. And what surprised me was that the advertisements were more or less the same, irrespective of position. Why wasn’t it tailored to the audience they tried to reach out to? Why didn’t they try different ways for different positions? Surely, an advert for Software Developer should be different to that of a Marketing Manager or a sales-person! Well again it comes down to what we are used to. To pre- defined practises and pre-defined tools. The exact opposite of Agile.

Use of external recruiters

It surprises me that so many companies have exclusive frame-agreements with one recruitment company. Even more questionable; they sign up for a long period of time, often 2 years. Well, why is it like this? Are we saying that irrespective of what you learn and experience as you go along, irrespective better options out there for certain positions; you use the same recruiter simply because you have an agreement in place?


A lot of companies and recruiters have a specific set of tests they utilise. Irrespective of position and irrespective of the candidates in the process, the tests remain the same, but for what reason? Because this is how the process has been defined? Because these are the tools that are in place?

To give you an example:  Let`s say there are two candidates at final stage interview for a SW Developer position. One seems to fit perfectly in relation to the team and the environment, while the other one may not be such a good fit on this level, but she is a stronger SW developer. Instead of giving both candidates a personality test, would it not make sense to give one of them a coding test and one a personality test? Or event better, give them both the 2 tests. I think you now know the answer.

Final interview cases

Similar to tests, the same goes for cases during final interview stage. Instead of giving the standard case you always give, why not look at what you have learned during the process and what you have learned from the candidates, and then tailor the test?


You can probably now see that defined processes, agreements and tools puts a stop to Agile Recruitment. It is such a shame that the recruitment industry is lacking behind most other industries in terms of implementing agile principles and values. Having said that; for those who do implement Agile into their recruitment processes, you will gain a significant advantage in relation to securing the best talent.

Hopefully, you can see the red line through part 1, 2 and 3 and perhaps you have already started to think about how your business can implement agile principles and values into your recruitment processes. Well, do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to learn more about this. I will happily tell you about our experiences and our clients experiences. Both all the positives, but also the negative aspects / pitfalls.

Next week we will conclude and summarise.

Have an agile week!
Erik Falk Hansen