Traditional recruiters focus on filling a role. CriticalKnowledge operates quite differently. Fundamentally, we focus on defining with a very extreme level of specificity the strategic need through the development and population of a detailed operational model of the role. Through this process of coming to understand the critical components that define best-in-class in the role, leveraging our network of subject matter experts, and building consensus among these experts as to what constitutes the critical characteristics of the talent required for best-in-class performance, we are generally funnelled relatively rapidly towards the individuals best suited to meeting the need.

Traditional search essentially pulls small samples from talent markets with the hope that someone within these samples will turn out to be the right fit. By contrast, ILS creates an intelligence driven funnel that leads ultimately towards a highly defined, narrow sub-set comprised of one or several specific individuals who are best-in-class with respect to the demands of a given role. This approach leads to substantially greater capability to deliver in difficult situations and substantially greater quality across the board.

Furthermore, traditional recruitment leaves the bulk of quality control until the end of the process. This can be compared to a manufacturing process that holds off until the final stage of the manufacturing process to look for and try to remediate key product defects, instead of eliminating those defects at much earlier stages in the process. The consequence of the quality “funnel” that ILS creates is that the results that come out at the end of the line are often of significantly higher quality.

Problem Definition
We undertake a detailed problem definition phase initially in order to develop the skeleton of an operational model for the position which focuses on the key strategic drivers that determine success or failure. This operational model is initially built on the basis of information derived from structured interviews with internal client-side operations personnel.

Intelligence Gathering
In course of our investigations, we are able to amass comprehensive intelligence in specialized areas both to deepen our understanding of the critical success factors for a given role and to develop a comprehensive survey of the market sub-segment with respect to talent. Our intelligence capabilities allow us to bring together all relevant information from an array of highly specialized sources to further define the operational model of a given role and drive a deeper understanding of the critical issues that define best-in-class performance for the role.

Network Leverage
The comprehensive intelligence gathering phase of our investigations ultimately supports and directs the next phase of the process which focuses on substantive discussions with relevant subject matter experts. As a result of this approach, our accessible contacts in even the most esoteric areas in a range of sectors are many times greater than the personal relationships of any ‘consultant’ or ‘partner’ of either a global recruitment firm or a niche sector recruiter.

Through substantive discussions with 30 to 40 experts in the specific relevant sector segment, all of whom have deep expertise in related specialized areas, we define consensus on the specific components of expertise driving the ability to successfully execute a given permanent role or project assignment. Through this phase we build out, define, expand and verify the operational model of the role substantially. The operational model comes to form a comprehensive picture of the factors the define best-in-class capability for the role with an extreme degree of precision. Consequently, when we target individuals, and when we appraise those individuals, we know precisely what we are looking for.

Because we approach things in this way we generate a much deeper understanding of the nature of the strategic need and the experience, expertise and personal characteristics required to meet that talent need than traditional recruitment organizations.

The development of a complex understanding of the strategic need through construction of a comprehensive operational model of the role – in conjunction with the deep contacts of our experts – tends to funnel us relatively efficiently toward those individuals best-suited to execute the demands that drive success in a given permanent role or project assignment. As importantly, these target individuals are those deemed by expert colleagues in the network to be the most capable of executing at the highest level.

Evaluation is not an end-state process in ILS but a continuous aspect or ‘funnel’ that ultimately results in the individual best-suited to meets the demands of a given role.

Through the development of the operational model we come to have deep insight into the nature of strategic need and the nature of the talent solution (expertise, experience, cultural fit) required. As a result, we are able to undertake a highly sophisticated evaluation of the capability of a target individual to execute at a best-in-class level.