What is Design Thinking?

While researching some of my client’s innovation strategies, I came across an interesting article about “Design Thinking”. This refers to a technique which enables a business – or anyone – to understand a problem and find creative solutions. When done right, this joins inspiration and passion, which very often; leads to success.

According to Tim Brown, CEO of the global innovation and design firm IDEO: Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.

Professionals across the world have been using this technique to solve challenges in their work-life. Design thinking makes the customer the main focal point of the strategy for any solution.

Within recruitment, ‘Design Thinking’ requires us to define what we do. What we do is solve talent problems; ultimately making things easier for our clients to achieve their business goals. This requires all of us to recognise that we are helping organisations improve profits or achieve business goals through the people that we source and place.

The main principles of ‘Design Thinking’ in relation to recruitment:

  1. Observe and gather evidence: understand the human needs involved and empathise. Design thinking requires ‘bigger’ and more strategical thinking – gain an empathic understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. In recruitment, this refers to thoroughly understanding what specific talent they need, this requires extensive research about the area of concern through observing, engaging and empathising with the individual or client.
  2. Map the problem: put together the information gathered during the first stage and define the problem. In the recruitment world: define the skills and attitude required. It is important to empathise with the issues the business may have faced for this vacancy to be created, and plan strategically to solve the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  3. Ideate and prototype the idea, using technology: There are lots of ideation techniques (brainstorming, SCAMPER…) and it is crucial the most suitable technique is chosen to help you investigate and test your ideas in order to solve the problem. It is important to have an experimental mindset and continually improve methods – for example, in recruitment; we are constantly thinking of all the current and new platforms available to find new talent.
  4. Test drive the “Innovation”: the results generated during the testing phase are often used to redefine the problem and discuss with the client. Make them aware of the market situation, candidate’s feedback, and your impressions; again going back to the first stage: constantly empathising. With this process, you can defend yourself and be much assured that you going in the right direction.

Just bear in mind… there is no innovation and creativity without failure, be patient!

Isabel Ruiz Halter, International Recruitment Consultant, Foundation Recruitment

Foundation Recruitment - London

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