What recruiters can learn from horror movies

What recruiters can learn from horror movies

Whether you’re investigating a haunted house or picking up a hitchhiker on an abandoned highway, you never really know how the situation will play out. Much like horror movies, the recruitment process is fraught with dangers, pitfalls and, occasionally, a mad man with an axe.

With Halloween close, Anna Cook, Head of Recruitment at CERN and Rob Walker, Head of Resourcing at MENCAP, decided to look to the silver screen to see what recruitment can learn from our favourite fright-night films.

Shortcuts lead to disasters

The darkened path leading into the desolate woods will almost certainly leave you either stranded or in the midst of a dangerous killer. Shortcuts may seem like the quick option, but they will cost you dearly in the long-run.

Cook explains: “‘More haste less speed’ is a useful adage in recruitment. You can’t cut corners, as such it’s sometimes better to take a little longer on gathering all the evidence you need, than rushing a decision and paying the price thereafter.”

Walker adds: “Within the care sector the temptation to address high turnover vacancies rapidly can result in poor quality appointments and ultimately have a direct negative impact on care, reputation and revenue.”

Use all resources at your disposal

Always be prepared; this is why so few scary movies feature Boy Scouts as the hapless victims. Setting off for a hike and forgetting the map or arriving at a creepy cabin with no network; whatever the scenario it’s always best to think of every possible outcome. Similarly, when looking for prospective candidates, make sure to utilize all the tools at hand.

Walker notes that “in this age of technological sophistication, we assume that the best way to reach candidates is through an elaborate web of digital attraction tools. However, recruitment is primarily about that 'human touch' use all the resources you have at your disposal as the simplest strategies are sometimes the most effective.”

CERN’s recruitment process is geared towards having as many opportunities to find out more about our candidates,” claims Cook.

“Prior to the interview, technical tests enable us to gather more evidence on specific knowledge and skills. On the interview day we carry out onsite practical tests and technical discussions as useful complements to the panel interview. All this makes for a comprehensive assessment to best uncover any gremlins that may lie within.”

Listen to the locals

More often than not, when the wary locals offer the young protagonists a piece of advice, they immediately do the complete opposite. Whether it’s “stay off the roads” or “keep clear of the moors” or even just “don’t feed them after midnight”, every warning falls on deaf ears and culminates in complete disaster.

“Face to face interviews here are held with a panel of experts, from the hiring team, an external expert and HR,” says Cook. “This is an enriching context, to challenge one another’s views, first impressions and gut feelings, to stay objective and focus on the evidence at hand to make the right decision together.

“One person’s Frankenstein can be another’s Tinkerbell, so listening to your fellow panellists will contribute to a happy ending.”

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