What Halloween Can Teach Employers About Recruitment

Accompanied by gloomy nights and a supernatural chill, Halloween will soon be here to darken our doors and illuminate the occasional jack o'lantern.

With the 9 to 5 zombies beginning to loosen their ties, it can be tempting to hide away under the blanket until first light. Even the scariest of experiences can prove to be life lessons though and employers may be able to learn a thing or two from All Hallows' Eve. 

Whether you're looking to avoid that monster of a hire or you're afraid to tackle your social media demons, here are five lessons that Halloween can teach employers about recruitment. 

Preparation results in the most treats

Nothing results in a more successful treat haul than comprehensive planning and organisation. Awesome costume? Check. Carefully earmarked house route? Check. Garlic, in case those vampires are real? Check. Well guess what? Making the right hire requires just as much planning (but a little less garlic!). 

Just like a map of the neighbourhood can help you hit the most houses, recruitment campaigns are designed to get the most value from the time and financial expense of making a new hire. Regardless of if it's a Milkybar Ghost or a new commercial manager you're after, preparation is key to reaping the right rewards. 

Far more than just "who do we to need hire?", a recruitment strategy defines a candidate's journey through your company. From vacancy forecasts to staff departures, planning each step of your employee's time with you will allow for better talent management systems and more satisfied workers. It both defines goals and the day to day actions that help achieve them. 

Just like a map of the neighbourhood can help you hit the most houses, recruitment campaigns are designed to get the most value from the time and financial expense of making a new hire.

With a plan in place, you have something to work towards in future. Whether you're trying to integrate with the zombies (think Shaun of the Dead) or avoid a toxic employee, it's the forward thinking characters that make it home with the tastiest treats.

Taking a shortcut is ALWAYS a bad idea

"Oh, I know a shortcut. Let's just go through these woods where that teenager went missing ten years ago tonight." Common horror concept, classic rookie mistake. What might seem like a timesaver now can soon prove to be the path to a derelict cabin, Jason Voorhees or even worse ... a costly hire

Though time may be of the essence, there's no allowances for recruitment oversights. In other words, be quick, but don't hurry. Regardless of how urgent the vacancy needs to be filled or how highly you valued the candidate's handshake, all stages of the process should be carried out to ensure that there are no skeletons hiding in the closet.or under the patio. 

Do you really need to conduct a second interview? Would anyone really lie about their experience? Should you be concerned that they've listed Nosferatu as a reference? Yes...Yes and YES! If you make a bad hire after a thorough process, that's unfortunate; if you make a bad hire through poor planning, then you have no one to blame but thyself. 

Occasionally you'll get lucky and the advancing silhouettes in the woods will prove to be little more than Snow White's seven dwarfs. Recruitment doesn't come straight from the pages of a fairy tale though and your experiences are much more likely to derive from the ink of a Stephen King novel

The best employers know that recruitment is more than just a one piece game of Tetris. It's a multifaceted process that presents numerous challenges all worthy of attention. Trying to accelerate a hire can be costly in the long run and leave the fate of your talent acquisition to nothing more than a pair of Jumanji dice and a deck of tarot cards. 


Don't judge a monster by it's mask

Clad in masks and hocus pocus hats, trick or treaters descend onto the streets at the fall of the late October sun. Now while some may look scarily realistic (or scarily inappropriate *ahem*), we know that underneath those witches, werewolves and...erm...cheerleaders, there are genuine people. To use an old adage: you can't judge a book by its cover. 

...some candidates might not perform well in an interview setting. The exam-style pressure can prove to be all too inhibitive for many talented  professionals who find that their strengths don't lie in their choice of face paint.

Occasionally, some of the candidates that walk through you door can seem like monsters. Of course, this is fed by our first impression culture where employers are thought to make a decision to hire someone within 15 minutes. Occasionally though, it can pay to persevere with a job applicant and look beyond the initial facade.

The best candidates might not always have the best costume, but might have some of the best tricks. Unfortunately, this can require employers to take a leap of faith in some respects, but can potentially see them make the biggest of gains. 

This can of course work two ways. One, some candidates might not perform well in an interview setting. The exam-style pressure can prove to be all too inhibitive for many talented  professionals who find that their strengths don't lie in their choice of face paint. 

Conversely, you may find yourself in front of an over-qualified head witch. Motives are easily questioned in this instance and it can be tempting to dismiss those with too much experience. Perhaps they won't be committed enough? Or they want to raise the dead? These could both be true, but your candidate may also have re-evaluated their career trajectory and are attracted to the challenges your company offers. 

Regardless of the situation, remember to look beneath the mask providing it is a mask.

Make sure you outrun competitors

Whether it's being chased by a swarm of zombies or trying to outrun the ever advancing Creeper (where did he get those peepers?), we all know that the stragglers at the back won't be meeting us at the safe house. Okay, so you might not be reaching for b-movie stardom, but failing to keep up with the front of the pack is just as relevant to recruitment as it is for late night Razzie nominations.

Just like the wise protagonist, top candidates don't wait around and employers have to be quick off the mark to attract the best and brightest. A slow recruitment process is a precursor to compromised hires, so learning a few lessons from a couple of slashers and splatters can bode well for employers.

Leading professionals are well aware of their value and understand that the best companies will be competing to attract them with the most enticing treats. Turning up late with just a box of raisins will do little to tempt top staff who already have the pick of a £5 note or fun-sized bag of Maltesers. A drawn-out process will similarly discourage talent from knocking on your door next year, associating time consuming procedures with company inefficiencies. 

Being quick to attract new talent has much to do with your preparation. Identifying potential gaps is a key feature of any planning process and enables you to put the wheels in motion as soon as you foresee Christine.I mean an opening.   

Confront your fears

As much as Halloween is about mischief and diabetes, it's also about facing fears. From the stomach-churning scares of the Saw franchise to the psychological suspense of a Poe tale, October 31st allows us to indulge in terror of all levels.

Every hire is a high-stakes gamble where time, money and morale are all put on the line in hope of landing the jackpot.

Though perhaps hardly comparable to The Jigsaw Killer, recruitment fears can be limiting to employers looking to find the final piece of the puzzle. Some hiring practices have failed to move with the times and the thought of social recruiting, online CVs and video applications can be tremble-inducing for many business owners.

With more than 70% of job hunters now online, employers need to overcome their digital aversions if they want seemingly infinite access to modern day talent. This isn't to say that it's time to throw away traditional methods, but rather it's time to embrace technological developments and combine them with tried and trusted techniques. 

Away from a Pulse style scenario, just the act of recruiting anyone at all can produce a nervous sweat amongst decision makers. Every hire is a high stakes gamble where time, money and morale are all put on the line in hope of landing the jackpot. Even with comprehensive planning though, not every draw of a card is going to result in a winning hand and this thought can be terrifying for employers.  

The hiring process needn't be so frightening though and a little lucid thinking can help you overcome your biggest nightmares. Keeping a grasp of reality is essential in doing this. You won't receive any CVs written in blood (well, probably) and your next employee won't turn out to be a knife-wielding maniac (again, the odds are in your favour). Just remember that there's nothing to fear but fear itself... and Pinhead... and Leatherface... and Michael Myers.

So embrace the witching hour

Halloween may be confined to the final day of October, but recruitment nightmares pay no such attention to the Gregorian calendar. Though the evening may be full of fun-sized treats and innocuous jump scares, employers might just be able to to take the spirit of the season into making their next hire. Okay, so dressing as Freddy Krueger for your next candidate interview is probably inadvisable, but utilising a few witches' spells can help you transform your recruitment strategies. 

Happy Halloween y'all!


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