The Candidate Experience & Lion King: An analogy that pushes the limits of credulity

Remember the Lion King?

I do.  Probably because as a parent of children born unto Disney, I have seen it no less than one thousand times.

Aside from coming up with the most annoying song ever to get stuck in your head  (“Hakuna Matata”…I know. You’re welcome), it did provide some interesting takes on succession planning, mentorship, health & safety, workplace harassment, nepotism, non-compete agreements, learning & development, and employee engagement.

Say!  This movie is basically a clever animated cover for the world of HR.  I mean, circle of life…the HR cycle…I rest my case.

This whole (ridiculous) analogy becomes really apparent when I meet with new managers to go over recruiting strategy when it comes time for them to make their first hire with us.  I find it interesting to watch them try to relate to this process from the other side of the desk.  After all, just a few short months ago, it was them that I was calling and selling the benefits of coming to work for our organization.

I like to sit with the hiring manager and run through my recommended approach.  And by recommended approach, I actually mean “this is how it’s going to happen.” None of what I tell them should be a surprise, since they just experienced it first hand.  And the feedback I have been receiving from candidates and new hires has been extremely positive – I’m quick, I’m thorough, I respond when I say I will, I follow-up when they don’t expect it, and I genuinely seem like I care.

However, when you suggest applying these same tactics to a hiring manager – you sometimes get push back.  Do we have to do phone screens?  Do we have to get back to them so quickly?  Do we have to give them feedback?  Can we just put a hold on the process?

Speed, clarity, and efficiency is appreciated by candidates.  There’s nothing worse than wondering what the hell is happening with your candidacy.

Speed, clarity, and efficiency is unnerving for some managers.  Having me ask you “So?” on a regular basis means that you have to make a decision.  It means that you have to commit,  It sometimes means that you will have to disappoint people.

It’s not a responsibility that you can shirk. 

You know what it’s like – you ‘ve been there.  So, in a matter of months – the aspects of a process that you respected, as a candidate, have come back to haunt you as a hiring manager.  As the hiring manager, assuming responsbility is not always easy, but it’s always necessary.

So, put on your big boy/girl pants, confer with your crazy-ass Rafiki if you need to, and step up and assume your rightful place as hiring manager and give those candidates the great experience that you had.

Circle of life, baby. Cirle of life.


8 thoughts on “The Candidate Experience & Lion King: An analogy that pushes the limits of credulity

    • “It means no worries, for the rest of your daaaaaaays…”

      Argh! I’m done.

      Thank you for calling it creativity and not what it really is…complete and utter weirdness.

  1. Pingback: Best Blogs 27 Sep 2013 | ChristopherinHR

  2. Julie, this post was great fun! Particularly for those of us who have had to drag new (and even experienced) hiring managers kicking and screaming through the process. It seems the quickest way to turn a hard driving manager into jelly is to require him/her to have to make a hiring decision using a legally defensible process, in a timely manner…and then actually live with their choice. Ah, you brought back some priceless memories.

    A big thank you to ChristopherinHr for leading me to you through his Best Blogs post this week. So nice to share a place on this list with you.

    All the best, ~Dawn

    • Dawn – first of all, thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Secondly – I am glad you can relate…some days I feel like my tendency to over-simplify HR activities and compare them to animated movies is because I have lost my mind and/or focus.

      It’s reassuring to know that others have seen what I see. 🙂

      • Julie,

        You can count me in as an HR kindred spirit. I too have often been seen as guilty of oversimplifying. I used to apologize for that until it became clear that I was too often right. That’s not a bad way to influence others!

        Kudos for giving voice to the issues. ~Dawn

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