Whether its Scrum, XP, Lean or one of the many other methodologies within Agile, time and again, it’s proving to be the go to approach to working, particularly within development. Within recruitment however, it may be something you talk about on a daily basis depending on your area of focus. It could also be something you apply to the way you do your job without realising, or maybe it isn’t. If it isn’t, perhaps you should consider applying Agile to recruitment processes.


In a nutshell, agile working involves breaking the work down in to mini projects or sprints within a bigger task– complete the sprint, get the feedback required to progress and move forward to the next. (Agile enthusiasts, I realise this waaaaay over simplifies it, but I only have so many words and haven’t started my first coffee of the day).


Straight away, this might strike a recruiter as sounding similar to how they work– I know it is for me. Look at each project as a requirement you are working on. There are clear and defined steps for each role I work for my clients, so rather than seeing them as steps, see them as sprints that are required to be completed before moving on to the next one (though keep in mind you need to be adaptable).


Here’s how I approach a requirement in sprints:

  1. Qualify the role: Meet or have a call with my client, get to know the role and the specifics inside out
  2. Candidate attraction: Speak to my contacts, write an interesting and engaging ad, use the job boards and LinkedIn
  3. Candidate qualification and submission: At Hanover we video screen candidates, which is of benefit to our clients and the candidate. The client gets to see and hear the candidate discuss their experience before even deciding whether they would like to interview and the candidate gets to add much more substance to their CV, also demonstrating their personality
  4. Book interviews and candidate prep
  5. Candidate offer and close

Again, these are very much in a nutshell so that I don’t drone on, but this is how you could break down my approach into sprints. Don’t get me wrong, I know others will vary.


Other key elements of agile methods are fluidity and adaptability. What I don’t want to do is get all the way to step 4 or 5 and realise that I haven’t got it quite right, having to go all the way back to step 1. This isn’t an agile approach. Sometimes at point 3, I may realise a role needs further qualification and go back to step 1. We all know it’s far better to catch it out early rather than going from step 5 straight back to step 1– it’s not what a good recruiter would do and it certainly isn’t agile working.


So that’s it, I imagine you probably work in a similar way and whether you know it or not, you could already be working with agility, though to what extent is up to you. Some teams use Kanban boards, and others may have daily stand ups to discuss the work ahead. There is more you can do to truly get into it, but that is for another day, another blog and another cup of coffee!


Nick BroughThis blog post was written by Nick Brough, our awesome Principal Consultant, who specialises in contract recruitment for Agile and Development.

If you’re looking for a new a new job in tech, software or development connect with Nick on LinkedIn here!

Or you can check out our latest jobs!