5 lessons recruiters can learn from Game of Thrones

Whether you want to accept it or not, after so many unexpected turns, intense drama, dead-marching, dragon-flying action and breathtaking battles, Game of Thrones has come to an end last Sunday.

But before we start to say goodbye, here are 5 lessons that recruiters can learn from the Seven Kingdoms. Because let’s face it, recruitment can be as messy as a Game of Thrones episode!


Networking gives you better associations

The key secret to survival in Game of Thrones is making friends with the right people. Alliances have been proven to be very important throughout these 8 seasons – Daenerys Targaryen had made alliances with Houses Tyrell, Greyjoy, Stark and The Dornish, Jon Snow gathered the loyalty of many families who declared him the King in the North, master strategist Cersei partnered with Euron Greyjoy and the Iron Bank. Also think about loyal friendships like Stannis and Davos, Sam Tarly and Jon Snow, Brienne and Podrick or even Varys giving up his seat on the Small Council to escort Tyrion Lannister out of King’s Landing. Ever thought what a turn of events it would be if these connections never existed? What about your connections?

Attend recruitment events and conferences to learn more from your peers and industry experts or organise meetings with clients and potential candidates to better understand their needs. Maybe we can cross our paths in an upcoming event!


Employer Branding makes a tremendous recruiting difference

Employer branding helps you attract and retain quality candidates through a company’s reputation and value proposition. And no one knows this lesson better than the Mother of Dragons and the King in the North.
Daenerys is all about ruling with justice and equality amongst people. She earned the respect of the Dothraki, becoming their Khaleesi. She then set the slaves free in Slaver’s Bay and got herself a loyal army of Unsullied. They all joined her cause for who she was and what she stood for.

A very similar story unfolded in the north. Jon Snow was proclaimed the King in the North by many families solely based on his character, morals and values. Those families pledged loyalty and bent their knees to someone who wasn’t even royalty at that point. So how did Daenerys and Jon do that? By showing to be the leaders their people would love to follow.

With more than 85% of executives rating employee engagement as an important priority for their companies, how can recruiters make sure they’ve got that covered?

You can start by identifying your target audience and understanding what is important to them. Having that in mind, customize an offer which is not only aligned with their goals and motivations but also with the company’s aspirations and mission statement. With a tailored approach, you’ll help attract a solid, motivated team with cultural fit.


Different generations can learn from each other

Managing an age-diverse workforce is certainly not without its challenges but leveraging the strengths of each generation and enabling them to learn from each other creates a more collaborative, productive and engaged environment. Take Arya Stark as an example, from her early training with Syrio Forel, to her time with The Hound and later on with Jaqen in Braavos who prepared her to be a Faceless Man. She understands the importance of learning from others and the senior team members gave her the opportunity to use those acquired skills to achieve greater results. Arya was not kept in the crypt during the Battle of Winterfell, she killed the Night King! Imagine an office with Arya Starks, Lyanna Mormonts, Olenna Tyrells and Tywin Lannisters. Isn’t that something anyone would like?

To benefit from generational diversity, you need to be able to recruit people across generations as well. Don’t just assume that Millennials and Gen-Z can be reached via online campaigns while Baby Boomers can be reached via their professional network or referrals. You would be surprised to know that over 60% of people aged 50-64 use at least one social media website. So, make sure to distribute your vacancies throughout a variety of channels, including online resources, always being mindful not to use age-discriminating descriptions. Do not underestimate the power of social media recruiting.


The cost of a bad hire can be more than you think

Bad hiring decisions are one of the worst mistakes you can make. Ask Cersei Lannister about it. Cersei named High Sparrow as the new High Septon, gave him an army and reinstated “the Faith Militant”, a military faction with the power to bear arms and dispense justice. Her motivation in doing so was to get the High Sparrow to publicly support Tommen’s claim to the throne (bastard born of incest) and to lock his wife Margaery Tyrell in prison. But that move came back to bite Cersei as her impulsive decision gave far more power to the High Sparrow than she initially realised – the Faith Militant could put the crown in check. That played out in the imprisonment of both Cersei and Margaery, and in Cersei’s famous walk of shame, shame, shame. That was the cost of a bad hire for her.

What about recruiters? Considering the “investment zone” (phase when the organisation is investing in a new employee through onboarding and training) and the “return zone” (when the company is benefiting from a new hire), the final cost of losing an employee is 1.5-2x their annual salary. Check out our presentation on how to attract and retain best talent. And if you don’t fancy a walk of atonement, the REC has published the “Perfect Match” report explaining the real cost of poor hiring decisions and offering practical advice.


Innovate to be ahead of your competition

Oh the beauty of beating your competition by using the innovation they don’t! Think about the Battle of the Blackwater where the Lannisters destroyed a large fleet through the use of wildfire. Or take the Battle of the Goldroad, when Ser Jaime Lannister was leading his army after sacking Highgarden… only to be ambushed by Daenerys riding Drogon.

The same applies to recruitment technology. If you keep up with software trends, you might become an early adopter of certain technologies, which gives you a distinct advantage and sets you apart from your competition, making you as hard to beat as a dragon.

Beat your competition with real time leads being fed through to your inbox daily so you can reach out to prospective clients, with your top talent, when you know they are hiring… always keeping one step ahead of your competitors using tech and powerful search tools.

In a highly competitive market with shortage of quality candidates, you may want to arm yourself with state of the art recruitment technology.

We can definitely help you with that!


And since we’re in the mood, we took a stab at which Game of Thrones characters our products would be.


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