Animated movies are just the best, aren’t they? They always have the perfect array of color and song, and never fail to impart a meaningful life lesson hidden inside a storyline that fills you with childlike wonder and joy. In trying to think of the greatest recruitment tips I’ve ever gotten, I thought I’d relate them all to my favorite animated movies, because hey, why not?

1. “You can either run from it or learn from it.” The Lion King

With its life-changing philosophy of “Hakuna Matata,” incredibly orchestrated opening number, and Mufasa’s heart-wrenching death scene, The Lion King still gets me every single time. As taught by the all-knowing and spiritual Rafiki, choosing to learn from your mistakes is a crucial life lesson, and one that holds true within the recruitment industry. If you find yourself faced with an unexpected escalation due to a miscommunication (or lack of communication) with your hiring manager, take those resolutions and experiences with you as you progress forward. If you fail to keep a candidate warm and lose them because of it, don’t cower because of your mistakes, own up to them. Taking responsibility of your oversights and referencing them in future situations will set you up as a credible resource and reliable partner, both of which are key in portraying yourself as a talent acquisition expert.

2. “Just keep swimming.” Finding Nemo

I totally get that recruitment can sometimes be discouraging. You will inevitably find yourself dealing with an impossible-to-please hiring manager, or even worse, an impossible-to-fill requisition from time to time. When that happens, you must stay focused with your end goal in mind. Nemo’s dad doesn’t give up, and neither should you. There will come a day where this requisition will be filled. And the quicker you get yourself out of your mental rut, the quicker you can make raving fans out of your hiring manager and candidates alike. Which leads me to lesson #3 …

3. Keep an open mind. Trolls

In order to keep yourself afloat when swimming, you must continue to try new methods. Remember, recruitment is fluid! Be creative. Try new tools. Ask co-workers what methods have led them to success. Brainstorm a list of creative searches that can lead you to potential candidates. And have a transparent conversation with your hiring manager and ask him/her what sources have led to hires in the past. Perhaps they can recommend a networking or alumni group where quality talent can be found. Everything is fair game as long as you are receptive to thinking outside the box. If this star-studded and pop song-laden movie has taught me anything, it’s that perseverance will inevitably lead to success! (And that I still sooooo love me some JT).

4. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Zootopia

This is one of my new favorites. The entire do-good, feel-good message from start to finish is just too cute. But how exactly is this movie relatable to recruiting, you ask? The whole story is about not basing your judgements of someone solely on your initial impressions. Ever find yourself staring at an absolutely perfect resume? Seriously, it is almost identical to what the job description is asking for. You couldn’t have drafted it up better yourself. So, you schedule a phone screen immediately, only to be horrifyingly disappointed in the outcome of the conversation. What happened? Or vice versa – have you ever found a candidate whose experience matched on paper, but seemed marginal at best, only to be beautifully surprised by how your initial conversation and the following interviews went? Remember, the resume or cover letter is just the first impression. It should not, and does not, reflect the entirety of the candidate.

5. Don’t conform, be yourself and keep learning. Beauty and the Beast

OK, so I literally know every single word to this movie. Anyone who knows me knows that I sometimes daydream about being Belle. Come on, singing in a field of dandelions, strolling through the village with a book at hand, a baker offering you bread … Best. Day. Ever. So, how does this awesomeness relate to recruitment? Belle teaches us the importance of staying true to yourself, taking pride in setting yourself apart from everyone else and making continued learning a priority. The same holds true with recruitment. There are a lot of recruiters out there, people! Differentiate yourself. You are your own brand, so you’ve got to own it. Be consistent with your recruitment methods and social platforms. Make sure the hiring manager satisfaction and candidate experience you are providing are high-quality and dependable. Keep abreast on industry trends and new recruitment tools. Participate in webinars and network, network, network! The best way to ensure your continued learning is to hear firsthand from the experiences of others.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip through animation nirvana and have taken some wisdom-filled talent acquisition tips to heart. Better yet, I hope you’re ready to put these lessons into play as you continue to provide white-gloved service to your clients and find rock star candidates. And, if you happen to find yourself sourcing in front of the television this weekend, you now have an amazing list of movies to choose from. Get that popcorn poppin’ and get to it!


Post contributed by Cristal Nobles, Recruiter. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.