Improve your recruiting process: Do it the Dutch way

I can't keep calm I am DutchRecruiting The Dutch Way


Are you struggling with your recruiting process? Do you think that you spend way too much time on finding the right candidate? You are not alone, but there is cure. Think differently.

When we work with companies to improve the recruiting process we implement the same process at all the companies (after all we are consultants ;). Over time I realized that some companies were able to recruit efficiently after our work was done, while others were not. And I was wondering what was going on.

We implemented an application form that gave the recruiter a lot of information about the candidate, but he or she was still phone screening 10 or more candidates. It took at least 2 weeks to get somebody in the office for a face to face interview. While in the meantime losing great candidates because the process took too long.

When asked the recruiter why he or she decided to schedule a phone interview for those candidates. The recruiter was consistently talking about all the good in the application. As being born and raised in the Netherlands, I got frustrated, and would ask them but don’t you see this answer (pointing at a different data point in the application form) that is not a reason to consider the candidate. The recruiter would give me this look, and I would feel bad and walk away and nothing changed.

Time after time, the recruiter was pointing at the reason why you would interview, while I would point to the reason why not to interview.

Focus on why you would not hire the person

Today it daunted on me, that the reason why most people have such a tough time with recruiting, has to do with the way everybody approach each other here in the US. You probably have been raised with the saying “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all”. This attitude, of being nice, and focusing on the glass half full causes recruiters to only focus on the good reasons to hire somebody. Focus on why to hire, doesn’t help you with eliminating candidates.

In the Netherlands we are raised with the idea, that nobody is perfect. It is not normal to get straight A’s, because you cannot know everything. In the recruiting process we will look at what the candidate doesn’t know and think about if your weakness as a candidate is going to be an issue for the company. We first focus on why not to hire!

Next time you are in the recruiting mode perceive the recruiting process as an elimination process.  Start with screening out the candidates, than phone screen no more than 3, if they give you good candidates schedule the phone interviews. Then go back to your list and screen the next top 3. You will see that you will reduce the time on your recruiting process at least in half!

Would you like to learn more about how Cultural Chemistry can help you improve your recruiting process? Connect with us


Mirjam IJtsma is the owner of Cultural Chemistry, an innovative Human Resources Consulting firm in Manchester, NH. In her blog “I can’t keep Calm I am Dutch” she describes her experiences with cultural differences in her role as business owner and HR Consultant. You can reach her by calling (603) 623 3633.


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