01442 937 77401442 937 774

hello@wearessg.com hello@wearessg.com

108 High Street 108 High St, Berkhamsted

108 High Street Mon-Sun 7.30-21.00

 

Willy Wonka – the trickiest client of them all…

by MAX JONES / Wednesday 28th September 2016

Golden Ticket

I’m a cinema fanatic. Period. I try & go to the cinema as much as I can, not so much for the films but because popcorn, ice cream & those “Tango IceBlasts” are my absolute crux. The film is just an excuse to pig out if I’m being honest.

So last weekend I was sitting there watching the latest blockbuster film, tucking into a bucket of popcorn that could fit a small child in & an ice cream tub that you could have mistaken for a milkshake, thinking – this movie is awful. Woeful in fact, so my mind was wandering. & I found myself thinking about recruitment (I know, strange) and how many of the most iconic films ever are really all about recruitment.

Having read various blogs & posts around the subject, clearly I was not the only one to think this. So instead of going through & compiling a list of my “Top 5” best films about recruitment, instead I wanted to explore one film in particular. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (& yes I’m talking about the original!). A piece of cinematic beauty, a classic that transcends time & space, & a film that has indirect nods to the recruitment process throughout all of its 89 minutes of gold (if you pardon the pun).

So grab your popcorn, get that double scoop of Peanut Butter fudge at the ready & let’s explore the fantastical world of Willy Wonka & his search for an heir…

The basics…
I’m sure you’re all aware of the Roald Dahl classic but just in case you’ve never had the pleasure of watching the late great Gene Wilder & his Oompa-Loompas’ quest for their new MD, essentially here’s what happens: Willy Wonka, a very tricky client, is on the hunt for someone to take over the family firm & continue to grow & develop his chocolate factory. Someone loyal, humble, innocent & focussed.

Willy Wonka knows what he wants & isn’t willing to share that with just anyone. In fact for a man who people know very little about, his company is well established within the market & arguably the brand leader. The opportunity to take over his empire is one that millions would drop everything for & he knows it. He knows the value of his product, his establishment, his dream & his recruitment process reflects this.

His methods…
Contrary to popular belief, if you were on the lookout for a Managing Director of a Large Chocolate factory/carer of Oompa-Loompas/owner of a flying elevator, your traditional job boards won’t attract the Unicorns you want. Who knew!...

Wonka did.

He understood that in order to build a thriving business, he needed the right staff. The right employees that would direct his dream in the direction he wanted, with the culture he desired & with the principles he valued most. He didn’t blast out an advert for 50 “housekeepers” & hope that the job boards would come through. He knew the type of candidate he desired would be found a little further a-field. Therefore he found his ideal recruits in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on an isolated island known as Loompa Island - where REED was a type of tree, not a job board.

Wonka adopted a similarly “out of the box” recruitment processes when looking for his next heir. By marketing the opportunity through popular media (TV/radio) & placing 5 golden tickets across the globe, Wonka’s recruitment process was one that, although seeming rather illogical, understood his prospects to the nth degree. Who would “stumble” across one of those golden tickets, a lover of chocolate? A spoilt brat? A humble only-child?

His reach was wide, his job spec was vague & no one knew who his “ideal” candidate was. In popular recruitment today, this would spell disaster. But the technique paid off & on Wednesday morning 5 budding candidates had the interview of a lifetime with the man himself.

The shortlist was diverse, non-consistent & erratic making it difficult to see what trends Willy really wanted. But his vigorous interview process, sorted the men from the boys…

The process…
It was a challenging, different & enlightening interview process that Wonka understood as integral to finding the ideal candidate for his role. He took the 5 lucky candidates on a journey through the business, firstly displaying the different challenges, pitfalls & issues that come with the role.

His intention was to filter out the candidates who would not cope with the trials of business ownership, the unique company culture & the unprecedented responsibility that come with managing a global empire. & so we were left with one candidate…Charlie Bucket.

The values…
Here at SSG we have our fair share of Willy Wonk-esque recruiters who value the importance of the candidate process, have a focus on what they want & an intricate way of procuring their candidates.

But perhaps we can still learn a couple of things from Willy Wonka & the great Dahl classic. It teaches us about the value of thinking outside the box, the benefits of the interview process & the importance of employing those around you who reflect your ethos, desire & focus.

Oompa Loompa doompadee doo, until next week another blog for you…

TOP