Recruit Like Willy Wonka

Want help with your hiring? It's easy. Enter your information below, and we'll quickly reach out to discuss your hiring needs.

wonkaThere are only so many “How Recruiting is Like Dating” posts one HR professional can stand, so here’s a new take. Willy Wonka was the best recruiter of all time! He scouted around the world to find the child best suited for the position of CEO of the Wonka Chocolate Factory. And find him he did! Mr. Wonka leads us through the toughest recruiting escapade of his life. A lot of hard work, dedication and thought went into finding Charlie, and here’s how Wonka did it.

Find the Most Passionate

A kid had to want that golden ticket pretty bad to be the one to snag it, they had to be passionate about candy. By creating buzz around the opportunity, Wonka found a way to generate interest while screening. He ended up with the children who loved candy the most.

Targeted job ads, thoughtful marketing and good networking practices are those golden tickets. This is how we find the right people for the right position.

Treat Your Candidates Well

Although Wonka was dealing with a pack of bratty rule breakers, he remained a calm and respectful tour guide through the factory. Not everyone is easy to work with, but the all too common, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” attitude that recruiters can have doesn’t help.

Candidate experience is vital and Mr. Wonka knew that. 83% of candidates share their experience via social media and only 5% of candidates are rating their experience as excellent. That comes out to a lot of negative chatter, and in turn a lot of damaged employer brands. Being timely with responses, treating candidates like individuals and bringing courtesy back into the process will all create a positive candidate experience.

Be Their Tour Guide

Wonka gave it ‘em straight. He led them through each process and thoroughly explained them. As the tour went on, the candidates got to see every aspect of the factory and experience the company culture as the Oompa Loompas led them in song. Although Wonka highlighted the good aspects of the factory, he didn’t shield them from the dangers and downfalls of factory life.

He had a bit of an advantage here. It’s easy to make a chocolate factory appealing to children, it’s a tougher job to sell some companies. Being transparent about the position and all that it entails does ultimately save everyone time. Showcasing the positives and disclosing the negatives are all part of the tour.

Don’t Get Discouraged, Negotiate

He thought it was over. Mr. Wonka was ready to throw in the towel when he discovered that Charlie and his Grandpa had broken the rules. After all of this searching he hadn’t found the right candidate. But alas, Charlie pulled through as the perfect fit.

Negotiations and communication are the final steps in the hiring process. What may seem like a deal breaker doesn’t necessarily have to be. Having a full profile of the candidate and detailed understanding of their expectations lends the recruiter tools for negotiations. Yeah, Charlie broke a rule or two, which looked like a deal breaker to Wonka, but in the end, his honest and integrity landed him the position. That designer may want a higher salary than you can offer, but if you know that upward mobility is equally as important to him, highlight that and see what happens instead of moving on to the next kid…er candidate.


Cool photo by Ginnerobot on Flikr!


Read more in Hiring Process

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space. Hogan speaks and writes on all career and workforce related subjects. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and SMBs around the globe. Red Branch Media was formed in 2006 as a simple consultancy. Today, the firm is a full-service B2B Marketing Agency that serves clients in the U.K., Africa, China, Israel, Europe and North America. Primarily focused on the Human Resources and Global Workforce vendors, Red Branch Media handles clients of all shapes and sizes.
Google+ Profile