4 Recruitment Ideas You Can Pinch from Disney

Mirror mirror on the wall, how does Disney find the best staff of them all! Read some unique and actionable recruitment ideas in this week's blog post!

June 20, 2023

Magic mirror on the wall, who’s the greatest company of them all? The Walt Disney Company of course!

In this article, I’ve left the technology and e-commerce moguls behind and turned my attention to one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world.

Headquartered in California, The Walt Disney Company pioneer the film, leisure and entertainment industries, creating unforgettable memories on screen, in-store and across their theme parks.

Their desire to create unforgettable happy memories for all of their guests is what depicts their brand and has set the customer experience bar to new unprecedented heights.

The question is; how have they achieved this? Did Genie grant them three wishes?

Read on to find out the magic behind Disney’s recruitment processes and how they avoid the bad apples.

1. Get to know the candidate

When it comes to the interview stage, Disney like to take a different approach.

Unlike with Amazon, candidates won’t be asked any tricky questions. The HR specialists are more interested in discovering who the candidate is and what experience they have for the job.

The hardest interview question they might get asked is who your favourite Disney character is. (Tough I know!)

Instead, potential employees have to undergo a competency test, focussing on what the candidate would do, with relation to the company itself.

Disney wants their employees to know all of the ins and outs – including the various departments many don’t know about.

This method of recruitment is extremely peculiar. However, as a business, it’s worth considering for more customer service related jobs.

While asking a series of questions can give you a few basic answers, will it really give you a true snapshot into how they would adapt to a different scenario and operate in the company itself?

Try getting candidates to complete a task or act out a scenario. This will throw a majority of them off so just be understanding and put them at ease.

But as a result, you’ll start to see who is capable of adapting to unique situations.

For most candidates, they’ll have a series of set answers programmed into their heads.

Thinking outside the box like Disney will completely turn the interview process on its head.

2. Give them a true reflection of your company

To attract the best candidates, it doesn’t require much.

The Beauty (and the Beast) of it is that honesty is the best policy.

With Disney, there are no smoke and mirrors involved. They give their HQ candidates a real sight into the future so they can decide whether it’s right for them.

According to an article on GoHunters.com, the initial process for new employees can take up to a year.

Over the course of this time, they learn all about his/or her new job and the company itself.

In terms of the atmosphere, candidates are aware that there’s a relaxed dress code at this company and a majority of the offices are open 24/7, so employees can work flexibly.

Granted, these revelations might not be for everyone, but that’s exactly why it’s so good.

The Walt Disney Company HQ can instantly deter the candidates that wouldn’t fit in and only get the ones that are passionate about landing the role.

In your business, try to include the benefits and a brief description of how an employee’s life would look in the first few months of joining. The latter will enable a job seeker to identify whether this is something they would be happy with.

3. Use local universities

According to Cosmopolitan, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts attend quite a few job fairs at local universities.

They provide students with graduate opportunities, internships or even part-time roles to help them make some extra money while they study.

Whether this is in the culinary arts, theatrical design or robotics, these opportunities give students a real chance to succeed.

The benefit of hiring a recent graduate is that they are usually fresh, eager and brimming with ideas. This can help give the dynamic of your business a real boost and create a positive atmosphere around the workplace.

Recruiter pro tip Advertising on multiple job boards can cost a lot of money and don’t always provide the results you need. Instead, attend a few job conferences. This way, you’ll be able to talk to potential candidates without having to schedule a series of interviews. Simply make a note of the people you feel have the right credentials and look like a right fit for your business, then invite them in for a further chat. You can find your nearest one at Job Fairs or Prospects.

4. Always create a detailed job spec

Recently, Disney was on the hunt for Princes and Princesses to play some of their most famous characters at Disneyland Paris.

However, the job specification was extremely strict. For instance, everyone who entered had to be over the age of 18, speak either English or French fluently, be between 4’6” and 6’3”, plus wear no make up for their first audition.

By clearly stating what they wanted before the recruitment process even began, Disney was able to get the perfect mix of candidates coming forward.

The lesson here is to be detailed in the job advert and don’t fear if you fail to get loads of applications. Just think, three or four highly experienced professionals are better than 100 underqualified ones.

Wrapping up

So there you go ho ho!

The next time you start your recruitment process, think about Disney’s attention to detail, methods of sourcing candidates and unique interviewing techniques.

It may just help your business have a happy ever after!

For more recruitment ideas and ways to attract candidates, subscribe to our blog here.

The end.

Coburg Banks - Multi-Sector Recruitment Agency
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