The most expensive employee

How to hire high achievers | The most expensive employee

The four types of candidates

Candidates typically fit into one of four categories - (1) unsuitable, (2) maybe, (3) looks good, and (4) looks good and are brilliant.

When it comes to categorising candidates, the biggest challenge for recruiters is separating the category three candidates from the category fours, as both appear to be high achievers.

If you're looking for a new employee, we would be delighted to tell you about how we recruit so you can establish if we are the right fit for you. Click the links below or call us to find out more about how we recruit permanent staff.

The four types of candidates


Clearly not suitable for your role and easy to eliminate. A junior will be able to screen these candidates out.


Right personality but lack experience - or vise versa. You could train them, but there is a higher risk associated.

Looks good

Resume is of interest, they interview well and pass reference checks, so we hire them. However, we later regret it.


Look good and are brilliant. We hire them and they are true high achievers who stay and excel for years to come.

Susan Mills

Susan Mills

"This recruitment company won't let you down!

Totally professional and thoroughly organised, have said it before, but breath of fresh air in recruitment.

Thank you for your ongoing support."

How to avoid category three candidates

Category three candidates are the most expensive employees you can hire.

Their overall performance is unsatisfactory and below par however, it is never bad enough to warrant a termination. These candidates have a high opportunity cost, as they will stay with your business for years.

At 11 Recruitment, we create an Assessment Matrix for every job we fill, which functions as our recruitment blueprint. It enables us to distinguish between category three and category four candidates.

In the Assessment Matrix, the selection criteria for a role are listed down the left side, while our recruitment process is listed along the top. All selection criteria are addressed at least once during the recruitment process – with important criteria being addressed multiple times.

Recruitment is all about minimising the risk of hiring the wrong person. If we get three independent observations that all lead to the same conclusion, then we have minimised the risk for that selection criteria. If a candidate has two positive observations and one negative, that does not necessarily mean they are unsuitable for the role however, it does mean the risk is higher for that criteria.

Next time you use a recruitment agency, ask the consultant to detail their process and Assessment Matrix. If they can't show it to you, you have the right to question if you are getting value for money.

How to avoid category three candidates

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Recruiting loyal staff

At 11 Recruitment, we often hear our clients say "there is no loyalty anymore". However, we tend to disagree.

While people are not loyal to companies or organisations, they are loyal to other people, and the type of people you choose to hire will have an impact on their level of loyalty.