Recruiting the Hunger Games Way

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Ten million skilled labor jobs went unfilled in the U.S. last year alone. 10,000 Baby Boomers retire each day. Do the math and something needs to happen to put the odds in your favor if you are a recruiter. Here are a few to consider.

Be Memorable

Advantages came to the contestants in The Hunger Games who were the most memorable out of the 24 who were competing. You’re probably not Google, Facebook, or Apple. You don’t have instant name recognition that helps to sell your brand. But you do have a story to tell. Psychologists have been studying the impact of sharing stories and how they directly impact a person’s attitudes, values, hopes, and fears. But somehow, in the recruiting world, we haven’t grasped that power yet.

So much of recruiting today is creating a job description with an unending list of bullet points and communicating what they company demands of the candidate. Very little emphasis is placed on telling the candidate about the company — what it does, why it does it, what impact it makes, and the causes that company supports. Once a company can have interested parties visualize themselves working there, the battle has been won.

In addition, an emphasis on that candidate’s experience is mandatory. It’s a no-win situation to tell a remarkable story and have a candidate envision themselves working there … and then totally disregard the candidate through the rest of the recruitment process. Common human courtesies will help to make your company memorable.

Alliances Get You Further

As with any good movie, you have the good guys and the bad guys. The Hunger Games was no different. As the battles began, individuals quickly aligned with each other to try to defeat the others.

In this battle for talent, new, fresh, innovative thinking is required — a business alliance. For some, it might mean aligning with a firm that can focuses on sourcing and driving candidates to your recruitment team. For others, it might be a marketing ally that help you to tell your story — online, print, video, social, etc. Some will choose an ally that is focused on recruitment optimization — taking your current strategies, processes, technology, and team and fine-tuning it to make it run more effectively and efficiently. Or you might align yourself with a totally outsourced recruitment partner that delivers on your behalf.

I have been warning recruitment leaders for the past few years that a major transition was about to take place in the way that recruiting is executed. This is mostly because of the generational shift of our candidate base. Two main reasons why this change will take place:

  1. It is the first generation to grow up with the Internet accessible to them every day of its lives. It has reshaped communication skills. It has reshaped problem solving. It has reshaped how businesses operate. It has reshaped just about every aspect of our lives. But somehow we think we can still recruit with the same tired strategies and processes that we used 5-10-15+ years ago.
  2. This is also the generation where everyone got a trophy and we quit keeping score. Candidates have a deep need for communication and reassurance … and having an ATS with knockout questions that eliminate the vast majority of applicants within 30 seconds of their application being submitted doesn’t really feel good to these candidates.

The role of recruiter is changing to more of an influencer … and that means alliances must be in place: Networking alliances. Campus alliances. Referral alliances. Optimization alliances.

Your Mentor Changes Everything

In the movie, each Tribute had a mentor assigned to them. One of the most appealing things that a company can do to draw in new talent is assign that new person to a mentor. Someone to show them the ropes, answer their questions, and give the newly hired person a very personal sense of dedication and appreciation. It will take some screening and training on your part to find those who will truly embrace the role of mentor, but this commitment is well-worth the extra effort when competing for a candidate with a competitor.

You may not be the biggest company. You may not have the most resources. You can, however, put the odds in your favor by developing and executing on a plan based around these ideas.

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