Recruitment: A Process or a Lottery?

Alan Dunstan
13 min readJul 10, 2020

What do you look for when recruiting, and what really matters?

What type of person do you want to hire?

While hosting our Infinite Leaders: Live shows, a topic we often touch upon, crucial in any department or organisation is recruitment. One ‘bad egg’ can destroy a culture very quickly, undoing years of hard work.


Simon Sinek, in The Infinite Game, researched what the US Navy SEAL’s want from when recruiting new members into their ranks. Special forces soldiers like the Navy SEAL’s are some of the highest performing teams on the planet. In his work with the SEAL’s, he asked them one question:

“How do you choose the guys that make it to SEAL Team 6”.

SEAL Team 6 is the best of the best. The SEAL’s drew the following graph:

Nobody wanted a low performer with low trust. Everyone wanted someone from the upper right section, a high performing leader, with high levels of trust.

When Simon asked them which type of person they want as a leader or teammate, they all said they would prefer someone on the right side of the chart than the best performer who had low trust. Keep in mind that these are the highest performing teams in the world, they were firm in their belief they would select ‘Trust’ over ‘Performance’ when it came to a leader or a teammate.

Brene Brown in Dare To Lead talks about the anatomy of trust using her BRAVING model. She is an advocate of finding the potential in people and states that:

“leaders would rather hire someone who is not perfect but has the ability to bounce back and learn from mistakes”.

Andrew Chambers, CEO and founder of Tsunami sportswear, looks beyond CV’s and qualifications when recruiting for his apparel company. In his interview on Infinite Leaders: Live (yet to be released), he talks about values being more important than any qualifications. Andrew prefers applicants that are trustworthy, reliable, multi-skilled, collaborative and resilient. He wants good human beings that can buy into the core values…



Alan Dunstan

Deputy Head of Senior School at the British International School Riyadh (DQ). Passionate about education.