Critically Align Your Recruitment Strategy in 5 Easy Steps


Have you ever employed a person thinking they are exactly what you wanted? They are so right for this position and you’re ecstatic! Then the more you work with them the more you realise it’s not a right fit; they are not who they said they were in the interview or they are just not on the same page with the direction of the business. And now you’re stuck!

What would it be like if you had a strategy that would drastically reduce the chances of this ever happening again? You may need a strategy that focuses on what your business is about rather than what the job is. Knowing that the strategy means recruitment make sense and flows effortlessly, because it attracts the people who believe in your business like you do.

Critically aligning your recruitment strategy does exactly that and more. It provides a systematic approach to getting the right people for the right job because the first area of focus, Environment, is about your business, its values, mission and culture. It then focuses on what Structures are in place and how the position fits into the business targets, goals and aligns with other departments, followed by what the position actually does. This is the Implementation focus. Finally, it looks at People; what type of person you need, what skills they require and who they will be engaging with in this position.

The Critical Alignment Model (CAM)[1] is the dream child of Sharon Pearson from the Coaching Institute and her Meta Dynamics© program. It is mind-blowing to know that the complexity of recruitment can be simplified to 5 unique yet easy steps to recruiting the right person for your business using CAM.

Read on to find out more.

Step 1: Position Analysis

Step 1 is about ensuring the position you are recruiting for is actually required in its current form so it meets the needs of the business and that it ultimately serves your mission in an affordable manner. This requires a simple analysis. The questions in the analysis below are by no means all-inclusive and you may find they raise more questions for you. If this happens please feel free to add these to your analysis. At the end of Step 1 you will have a comprehensive understanding of the why, where, how and who of the position.


  • What is the purpose of this position? How does the purpose fit with the vision, mission and values?
  • What is the expectations of this position? How is it related to the culture of the business/organisation? How do you know?


  • Where does this position sit within the organisation structure/chart? Where does the leadership of this position fit in the leadership matrix (includes responsibilities)? How do you know?
  • What are the portfolios/projects of this position? Where do these correlate with other positions?
  • What are the KPIs of this position?
  • What tools/checklists/templates etc. impact this position?


  • What tasks are allocated/required for this position?
  • What skills are required to undertake the tasks of this position?
  • What decisions are made within this position?
  • Are there any common practices or unwritten grounds rules that have influenced the effectiveness of this position in the past? Where do these match the culture? Where do they not match?


  • Who relies on this position?
  • Who contributes to this position being effective?
  • How are they supported/trained/mentored in this position?
  • Who will interact with the position holder?

Step 2: Advertising the position

The next step in recruiting is to decide how you will recruit. Options available include using a recruitment agency who can look after the recruitment process or you can do it yourself. Either option requires the same ESIP system in CAM to be used to ensure you get the desired results. Therefore, if you choose to use a recruitment agency, it is important to make sure they understand exactly what you want so they can deliver it. Any advertising, whether it is for print or electronic format, must be set out to reflect ESIP to maximise impact. For example, an advertisement must include:

Environment: Start with one or two sentences that inform the prospective candidates of the mission and values of the business/organisation.

Structure: Indicate where the position sits within the business, e.g. executive manager, team leader, front of house and who the position reports to. Briefly outline the importance the position has in living the mission.

Implementation: Include a sentence or two to outline the roles and responsibilities of the position incorporating the selection criteria. When using selection criteria, set the selection criteria out in ESIP format.

People: It is important to let the candidate know who they can contact for further information and more obviously, who to address their application to.

Step 3: Short listing – beware the halo effect

Short listing can often be the most time consuming part of recruitment and it means that sometimes the ideal candidate can be lost when numerous applications are received. If you completed Step 1 and 2 thoroughly, then it will provide you with a clear purpose in deciding which candidates stay and which ones go according to the purpose of the positon, making the short listing process much quicker.

Using a scaling system from CAM perspective to rate each candidate on how well their application reflects the position’s needs and its purpose means you get an objective measure to help record the short listing process and results. It is particularly helpful when numerous applications are very close and it can be difficult to identify small but important distinctions between candidates. Below is a sample tool for short listing results.

Short Listing Rating System

Download the Short Listing Rating System tool to speed up your recruitment short listing process.

Once the short list of candidates has been selected, consider using the Meta Dynamics Profile Tool. This tool is specifically designed to highlight strengths and stretches in the ESIP dimensions of the Critical Alignment Model particularly benefitting positions that involve medium to high level leadership. The Meta Dynamics Profile Tool can be used during Steps 3, 4 or 5 to assist you in making your final decision on selection.

Step 4: Interview

Setting the scene for the interview is crucial to finding the person with the most potential for the position. The scene or tone of the interview will impact the quality of the conversation you have with each candidate which in turn will reflect in the responses they give you. A great place to start is ensuring the values and standards of your business are reflected in the interview. Then it is important to structure the interview according to the ESIP format, for example:

  • Prepare interview questions in order of ESIP
  • Ensure the interview panel is familiar with ESIP, the purpose of the interview, what is expected of them regarding values and standards as well as participation before, during and after the interview.
  • Allocate specific questions to specific panel members to match areas of strength, for example; leader/visionary person for Environment focus, operations person for Structure focus, technician person for Implementation focus and human resource/leader person for People
  • Use results of interview and Meta Dynamics Profile Tool (also consider using the table above to rate interview results) and make your decision on most likely the candidates before conducting referee checks.

Step 5: Referee checks for final decision

This is the final step in the CAM recruitment strategy. Referee checking is often seen as a box ticking exercise or an inquisition of a past life. Both can be very inhibiting to the quality of the final step. Referee checks are an opportunity for you to gauge what previous employment experiences have been offered the candidate. What leadership, mentoring was available for them to learn and grow from? Was the leadership one directional? Was the previous employment culture determined by the mission, values and standards or from a performance only focus? Was the culture determined by the management teams or the ground troops or both?

This quality information will assist you to gauging the level of congruence past experience has with your business and the potential for a person to learn, grow and commit to the purpose of your business. How may this impact on the results of Steps 3 and 4? When asking questions of a referee, remember to ask in ESIP format or simply create a conversation: What would you like to share about ‘person’s name’? And be mindful of ESIP in their responses.

You are now ready to make the final decision on the candidate you would like to offer the position to. Once the candidate has accepted the position it is now time to congratulate yourself on completing the CAM Recruitment in 5 easy steps.

You are now ready for the CAM Induction Strategy.

For further information of the CAM Recruitment Strategy and how it can help your business please contact Diane Gray,

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