Yes, I am talking about the coveted Golden Ticket from the Wonka Bar! If you’ve seen the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, then you know that ticket gave a select few children the opportunity to visit the infamous Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. They were very special guests of Mr. Wonka and received a tour of the eccentric Chocolate Factory. Mr. Wonka had an ulterior motive for inviting the guests. He was planning on selecting one of the children to be his successor to lead the business and run the chocolate factory into the future! During the visit, Mr. Wonka treated the children as honored guests. They were privy to see the inter-workings of the candy maker’s magnificent operations, taste test the goodies, ask questions about the business, and even see what the company was planning for the future. These children were candidates going through an evaluation process. As the story goes, Mr. Wonka had predetermined criteria which he is using to evaluate the candidates which included ethics, respect, selflessness and passion.
While Mr. Wonka’s interview process was unique and unprecedented, each of you have your own Chocolate Factory and Golden Tickets when you invite candidates to come in for an interview. Determining who should get the ticket is just the very first step in the recruiting process. The most important part of the process is when the candidate arrives at your office and how you treat them while they are at your company.
Similar to the Wonka experience, a solid recruiting process is based on some of the same principles:
- When your guests (candidates) arrive, be ready for them and greet them as special, invited guests.
- Determine what selection criteria are important to you and assure your interview is based on those criteria.
- During the interview process if you discover someone is not a fit, treat them respectfully.
- Share who you are what the company is about including products and guiding principles.
- When you do decide on a candidate, have and share enthusiasm with the candidate.
Some other recruiting quick tips that don’t require significant investment other than thoughtfulness:
- Tell the candidate when you are scheduling an interview how long you expect them to be at your office so they can make appropriate arrangements.
- Thank them for taking time out of their day to come see you.
- Coordinate interviews to assure candidates don’t see other candidates.
- Communicate the next steps in the recruiting process and when they can expect to hear from you. AND call them when you say you will…even if you haven’t made a final decision, you need to be courteous and let them know that. It can be a simple call or email.
While the above items may not be a major revelation, they are often mistakenly overlooked. Your company’s ability to execute these will distinguish you from your competition. It doesn’t take an inordinate amount of time, work or money to execute these things well. Identify someone in your organization to own, coordinate and focus on the candidate experience. Additionally, assure everyone in the interview process understands the “special guest” approach. Candidates will want to work for you because you are a great company, not just because you have a job opening.
Your golden tickets are special and so are the people who receive them. This holds true for every position you are hiring. EVERY candidate is important and EVERY candidate has contacts.