Research-Based Recruitment – The Benefits for Niche Markets

Amy Ferguson, Rutherford Cross’ Tax and Treasury specialist, explains why a research-based recruitment process is essential when recruiting in candidate scarce niche markets.

When I first joined Livingston James Group – Rutherford Cross’ parent company, in 2020, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work within Livingston James Group’s research team. I spent a year under the Group Head of Research, Kirsty Sim, before specialising in Tax and Treasury at Rutherford Cross. This initial grounding in research methodology has been extremely beneficial to running effective recruitment processes in candidate scarce markets.

In a previous article, Kirsty Sim discussed the benefits of data and robust process as key factors in the recruitment process. As part of our process at Livingston James Group, we diligently gather market intelligence data for our clients, as well as using data-led approaches to create our candidate shortlists. This approach is key to building a picture of the market and allowing clients to make informed decisions in hiring processes.

Devising a robust, objective, and evidence-based search and selection process in partnership with our clients is also critical. We work with clients to ensure we understand the exact experience, skills, and behaviours for each specific role, so that an appropriate and bespoke assessment and competency framework can be developed.  This helps to reduce the potential for bias and allows genuine objectivity when making both shortlist and final candidate decisions.


The War for Talent

Recent comment from McKinsey discusses how recruitment has changed as we find ourselves in the ‘war for talent’.  Aside from that fact that employers, particularly those that require tax and treasury resource, are having to offer increased base salaries and financial benefits, candidates are equally as keen to have increased flexibility and, importantly, a supportive workplace culture and values that align with their own.

Candidates are in a position to demand higher compensation and now expect these other factors to be part of the overall deal, and the fact that candidates are in short supply further increases their bargaining power, playing further into the talent war facing organisations.

McKinsey also focused on the reasons that employees are leaving their current roles, which included ‘uncaring leaders’ and ‘lack of support for employee health and well-being’. Under these challenging circumstances, organisations can really benefit from a research-driven recruitment process which allows recruiters to build a detailed picture of candidates and their needs and wants so we can engage them in the best way possible.

When we take time to research the market and gather data to understand what is driving candidates to make decisions about their career, we are increasing the chances of candidates engaging with us and our clients in a talent scarce market.


At Rutherford Cross we take time to discuss each candidate’s career and aspirations. If you would like to discuss your career, please reach out to me for a confidential chat on [email protected]