Intent-Based Talent Acquisition Model & User Guide

I originally shared my Intent-Based Talent Acquisition Model in Berlin at TechRec.

Here it is for you with my first draft of the user guide. Keen to hear you’r feedback and successes using it over the next few weeks/months and years.

To add extra context, here is the video of the talk I gave at Tech Rec Berlin thanks to Hung Lee’s Stream in Recruiting Brainfood’s Facebook group. Make sure you subscribe to Recruiting Brainfood for the best recruiting content everyweek!


This is the cumulation of several years thinking around the fact that the core role of a recruiter/sourcer is to find out what people intend to do. During my time at, the worlds largest job search engine, I started to get my hands dirty with new data sets and new massive scale hiring problems that lead me to the simple thinking;

Recruiters are just good at finding what people want.

How do you scale that? How do you automat that? How to you help people understand that?

The intent model was born.

There is no doubt — the core role of a recruiter is to find Qualified, Interested and Available people who they can introduce to hiring managers.

The biggest mistake most people make is too over complicate recruiting processes by forgetting the simplest part of the hiring process. Recruiters are not just good at finding people but at what people want to do. You can find what people want to do by starting in the places where they tell you that… publicly.

People’s intent changes from time to time, from hour to hour with mood swings and roundabouts. Every recruiter will be able to tell you many stories about how they caught the candidate at the right time.

This is why the intent model is a wiggly line.

The idea is to understand how to move candidates from a No Intent position to a High Intent position.

This journey is not a smooth one, it is an every changing evolution that needs recruiters and hiring managers to walk the line with the candidates.

Today the intent model has developed from what was the original graph above and some loose fitting ideas to the checklist you find on the link above.

Finding the people is easy, finding the ones that are interested and available in the tough bit.

The idea of the intent based framework is to provide you with the short cuts that help you find the right people faster. You could spend years learning to use social engineering and the art of persuasion to persuade everyone that you have the job for them. However, the easiest thing to do is to recruit from the people with the highest signals of intent to the lowest.


Follow the intent framework when you are trying to fill your next job. Use it as your checklist of actions you need to do to fill your role.

Look for the easiest actions that take the least amount of investment (monetary or time) and result in the most qualified candidates.

If you find it works; make a copy and add some extra columns. Measure the time you are investing, the cost you are investing and the expected outcomes.

Use this as a checklist for your sourcing plan every time you get a new role.

Look for the lowest effort, highest result actions first and then work your way down the list.

Obviously, you need to adjust this framework to your style, but in theory if you work your way through 70% of the actions in the list you will find the candidates and make the hires you need.


  • Add your notes, tips and tools you use in the comments by each action.
  • Comment in other actions you can think of.
  • Add in time spend and expected results.

Please share this with your recruiting colleagues and help us improve it.

I am Looking forward to hearing your questions about this!

Often found chatting with my mouth full, writing mainly about recruitment. Hiring @doctolib. Community Founder #DBR #GrowthHackingRecruiters

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