Thursday, September 20, 2012

6 Tips for Hiring Star Talent from a Hollywood Casting Director

"Casting By," a behind-the-scenes look at the often-overlooked and underappreciated Recruiter Casting Director, recently opened at the Toronto International Film Festival.  According to Fast Company's Mina Hochberg, it just might teach us a few things about sourcing - about interviewing - about landing our next...Tony Hsieh

Seems Casting Directors know a thing or two about the differences even one hire can make (can you say, Gabby Sidibe?).  Sure, we can argue about whether there is such a thing as the "perfect hire."  But we can also argue about whether or not we're doing the "hard things" required to make the best hire (click the link to read how I define "hard things").  

A company's ultimate success rises and falls on the casting.  The people getting a paycheck.  That's my opinion.  I just think I'd be an idiot to argue otherwise.  Equally so, a company with great potential can be doomed to "Attack of the Killer Tomato" status if it tolerates mediocre hiring practices.  The difference between the two determines on which list your company lands:  

We've talked about this for years (hiring failures).  And we've known for even longer (thanks to org's like CEB), that we miss the hiring mark at least 50% of the time.  But the path of least resistance keeps us moving down the road at a quicker pace.  Faster is better (we tell ourselves).  But the "hard things" rarely come quickly.  And the game-changers we hailed as our next great hope hire, end up with names like Jamarcus, and Ryan.  Not saying they were fast hires - just bad hires.  Because all of us, even with our massive hiring brilliance and big-data, can still manage to make colossal hiring mistakes.  And I'll be vulnerable enough to admit that my last one comes to mind all too easily.  

So maybe we should at least feign interest in the practices of the unsung Casting Directors.  Just because we cringe at words like "intuition," and phrases like "slow down," doesn't mean we can't learn from the practices of those who master the art of "open mindedness."  

After all, some of these ideas are already part of our recruiting philosophy.  Or should be.

  1. Don't wait for candidates to come to you.
  2. Don't always go with the most obvious candidate.
  3. Don't dismiss a promising candidate based on a bad interview.
  4. Fight for your first choice.
  5. If possible, take your time.
  6. Look for strengths that the candidate might not even be aware of. 

Get the details behind the bullets - read Mina's complete article, HERE.  But remember this - just because it's in simple bullet format, doesn't mean it's not "hard work."  

Talent is cheaper than table salt.  What separates the talented [one] from the successful one is a lot of hard work.  - John Wooden

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