Recently the HBO epic fantasy series Game of Thrones closed out its wildly popular second season. You might not think there’s much to learn from a show with shapeshifters, medieval battles, and dragons.
But there are plenty of recruitment lessons to learn from the power-hungry strivers in Westeros.
After all, with the unemployment rate hovering around 8 per cent it can often feel like an endless barrage of job seekers are battering the castle walls of your company. The job seekers hoping to get a position at your company are no less zealous than those battling to win a seat on the iron throne.
So let’s see what recruitment lessons we can learn from our friends in Westeros:
Never discount the little guy—they might have dragons.
It can often be easy to overlook the less flashy and impressive candidates. Take a lesson from Game of Thrones and don’t forget these candidates might be packing a hidden talent. No one thought former princess Daenerys Targaryen was much of a threat to the throne. Now Dany has some bright friends to help her along the way, namely her pet dragons.
Sure, your candidate probably doesn’t have any pet dragons handy. Just because they’re not as great on paper, however, doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to bring to the organisation. When you’re interviewing, either in-person or through online video, pay attention to a candidate’s personality. They might not be the most impressive on paper, but they might have wonderful communication skills or will fit into the company perfectly.
Everyone is fighting for something.
Game of Thrones is a sweeping epic because it shows the viewer every side of every battle. You can get into the heads of the Starks and the Lannisters even as the two sides fight each other. This is not only good storytelling, it makes good recruitment sense as well.
Make sure you know what your candidate is “fighting for,” so to speak. A potential hire might say all the right things, but if their goals don’t align with what your company needs you’ll be rehiring soon. In your preliminary phone or video interview, get your candidate to spell out exactly where they see themselves heading. Make sure it aligns with what the position needs and the kind of employee the company is looking for. Don’t hire a squire when you need a king.
Always stay informed.
Perhaps the most powerful characters on Game of Thrones are the politicians and spies flying under the radar but informed of everything. It’s hard to argue characters like Littlefinger and the Spider seem poised to weather any storm. They can deal with the dangerous and ever-changing political situation in King’s Landing because they know information is invaluable.
Take a page out of their book (or scroll) and keep yourself up to date on all the latest trends in your industry. Make sure you’re abreast of all the newest technology. Keep current on the hot topics in the talent communities in which you take part. Technology, like social media and online video, is changing the way recruiters find, source, and interview top talent. Keep your head about you and stay in front of the curve or you could end up like poor Ned Stark.
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, which combines a video job board and online interviewing platform to enrich interaction between job seekers and employers. On Spark Hire job seekers can create a free video profile. Connect with him and Spark Hire onFacebook and Twitter.
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