4 Hiring Lessons From Horror Movies

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screamWith Halloween around the corner, it might be time to admit recruiting can be a scary task. You want to find the best people for your company before the competition picks them off one by one. More importantly, however, you want to avoid making bad decisions. Some of these hiring mistakes can be truly scary; one in four hiring managers said a bad hire set their company back more than $50,000.

With facts this spooky, what better place to look for advice than horror movies? Scary movies tap into our primal fears. Many of these common fears can apply to the hiring process where, just like picking up a hitchhiker on the side of the road or going to an abandoned cabin, you never know what you will find.

Here are some (unintended) recruiting lessons from the masters of horror. Learn from their mistakes in order to hire candidates who are superstars and will be a good fit for your organization, while staying away from those old-fashioned spooky practices that can drain all your resources and produce no results.


This horror movie convention is an old one where some mysterious incident causes the group to split up to investigate the source. Most of the characters never see each other again, because once the group has splintered, they are infinitely vulnerable. This is such a common horror movie trope that recent horror movies feel the need to tweak the stereotype or acknowledge it before separating the characters.

The hiring process is not exactly like exploring a haunted house, but it certainly requires teamwork. Your hiring team should be collaborating to find the best people, not splitting up. Having multiple points of view when considering viable candidates is the best way to ensure your company hires top talent. Recruiters who rely on qualifications can balance out those who rely on their gut instinct, and vice versa.

Whether your team is performing a group interview or sharing notes about a candidate on your recruitment platform, collaborating with your colleagues can keep you all moving toward one common goal.

Share Your Company Message

In the teen slasher film I Know What You Did Last Summer, a hit-and-run turns deadly for a bunch of teens. This goes to show that your past experiences may influence your current success. For companies hoping to pull in top talent, this means identifying your narrative — where you’ve been and where you hope to go in the future — and communicating your key messages via all available avenues.

In today’s realm of constant social media updates, this is more true than ever before. Companies are increasingly using social media to share information about their company culture, articulate their value proposition, and solidify their employer brand.

Candidates expect your social media channels to answer several questions: What does your company do? What makes your company unique? What milestones has your company achieved? What is the company culture like? Why should a talented candidate want to work for your organization?

You should also consider using a social recruiting platform to disseminate your open positions to interested candidates across multiple networks. Let your audience know what jobs are open, now that they know what your company did last summer.

Don’t Wait Too Long

Have you ever watched a horror movie and wondered why the main characters took so long to figure out that someone they didn’t suspect is behind all the trouble? This is a horror cliche many films employ in order to keep characters in the dark about the spooky happenings around them. In real life though, you would probably take quick action to avoid a disaster if you can get a good reading of the situation.

As seen in many movies, not acting fast enough can sometimes result in your best people disappearing one by one. Similarly, if you wait too long to make an offer to a great candidate, you will often find it is far too late – the best talent will be hired by your competitors instead. This could result in a not-so-happy ending for your organization.

Find a way to get your team on the same page at the same time in order to hire fast. With the help of collaborative capabilities of a modern recruiting platform, you can get everyone together for a group interview with the best candidates. The important point is to make sure your team can arrive at an agreement and quickly make an attractive offer to the talent you have worked so hard to attract to your company. This way you do not face the scary prospect of losing the best people to your competition.

Watch Out for Drained Resources

Vampires are everywhere these days, from the sparkly teen Twilight versions to the scarier blood suckers on True Blood. Dracula might be having a pop cultural moment, but this does not mean you want your recruiting software to be a draining monster. Just like vampires, outdated recruiting systems can suck the life out of your hiring process.

Older recruitment platforms were not built with today’s hiring practices in mind and thus can drain away your precious time and resources, while providing a downright scary user experience. Instead, companies looking to hire the best talent faster are increasingly turning to next-generation social recruiting platforms. What you need is an intuitive platform predicated on social media best practices and built to address today’s recruiting challenges while encouraging collaboration among team members. Additionally, when all recruitment data is tracked during the hiring process, a next-gen platform can provide the necessary insights and analytics to help companies target their recruiting efforts with laser accuracy.

How organizations and individuals engage with each other is evolving rapidly and social media is redefining how employers and job-seekers connect with each other. With recruitment practices changing fast, your organization needs to leverage a platform that allows you to grow and easily keep up with the times. Unlike Dracula, you do not want to be stuck looking the same forever.

Hiring great people does not have to be scary. Social media, team-based collaboration, and showing off your company culture via a great careers site are easy ways to make sure your company attracts the right kind of people. When you hire your next superstar employee, be sure to thank Freddy and Jason for the advice.

What are some recruiting lessons you can derive from horror movies this Halloween? Share in the comments!

By Sajjad Masud