The Wizard of Oz is a film we all know and love, right? It’s classic, it’s heart-warming, it’s packed with great musical scores. But to recruiters, The Wizard of Oz is also rich in industry expertise. With themes that constructively overlap into the recruitment process, the film doubles up as a treasure chest of wisdom. Here’s the top lessons that recruiters can learn from Dorothy and her journey along the yellow brick road:
1. Don’t be afraid to dream in colour
Recruitment as we know it is changing. Millennials are flooding the candidate talent pool in increasing numbers, social media is transforming talent sourcing, interactive technology is making traditional job adverts obsolete – evolution is everywhere recruiters look. We’re not in Kansas anymore.
And you know what? That’s okay.
Facing new and disorientating changes can be scary, certainly, but it can also be vibrant and richly rewarding. Look at Dorothy. She dreamt in colour, braved a tornado and landed herself over the rainbow. At times she was lost and afraid, but she walked through the unknown and had the adventure of a lifetime in the process.
Like Dorothy, recruiters would benefit a huge amount from broadening their horizons and taking a horse of a different colour. To succeed in a rapidly changing industry, add some vivacity to your recruitment processes and conquer unexplored territory.
2. Maintain clarity of purpose in what can be a long, weary journey
There’s no denying it – recruitment can be tough. Candidates fall through, clients are hard to please and the UK is short on skills. It’s a complex jungle out there, perhaps not full of lions and tigers and bears but instead packed with daunting job specifications, candidates that quit and people that don’t turn up. As Dorothy says: “My! People come and go so quickly here!”
However long and weary the process, it’s important to keep the goal in mind and never lose sight of it. Like Dorothy and her friends in The Wizard of Oz, you just have to suck it up and keep following the yellow brick road until you get to where you need to be. If Dorothy can keep her ambition high and fight through evil witches and flying monkeys to hit her target, there’s no reason that recruiters can’t too.
3. Align your personal goals with the goals of the team
Yes, your personal focus as a recruiter is to smash your KPIs and make some serious commission. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you also need to have in mind the focus of the business.
In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her companions all travel together to reach the same destination. Everybody has their own part to play, even tiny Toto, but it’s only together that they defy the odds and achieve their goals. Individually, the group is lacking. The Tin Man wants a heart, the Cowardly Lion wants some courage, the Scarecrow wants a brain – you know the score. Despite all these biologically terrifying deficiencies, together with Dorothy & Co form a unit that works against all odds. And it works because they all have the same overall goal, despite personal nuances.
A successful recruitment company is built on the strength of its recruiters, just as a successful recruiter is dependent on the reputation of their company. If you want to go far in recruitment, you need to unite your individual ambitions with the ambitions of your team and keep that broader picture in mind.
4. Be proactive in pushing forwards
Recruitment can’t afford to be static. The job market is ever changing, as is the pool of talent available to meet its demands. We’ve come a long way since the days of Rolodex and a phone book, but there’s still a long way to go.
Dorothy is something of a pioneer when it comes to pushing forwards. She knows what she wants, she finds out how she can go about getting it, and she goes right on and does it. No muss, no fuss: just steady steps along the yellow brick road.
Being a recruiter is all about solving problems. It’s about identifying needs and taking every step possible to meet them with a proactive attitude. You don’t have to fly a hot air balloon into the skies or own a pair of ruby slippers to make progress, you just need to keep on moving on and never settle for anything less than perfect.
5. You already have what it takes to succeed
All Dorothy ever needed to do was to click her ruby slippers together. The Tin Man never needed a physical heart when he was already bursting with love and compassion, just as the Scarecrow already possessed all of the logic and thoughtfulness that he believed only came with a brain. They never needed help from the Great and Powerful Oz – after all, he’s just a man behind a curtain. All they needed was greater self-awareness and self-belief.
Recruiters, you already have the tools you need to achieve success. There’s no magic involved in being a great recruiter: just skill. You’ve got that skillset, all you need to do is keep it sharpened.
So, if you take on recruitment like Dorothy took on Oz, the dreams that you dare to dream really can come true!