Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Tips Hiring Managers Can Learn From Santa

With Christmas right around the corner, holiday season is in full swing and jolly old St. Nick is sprucing up his long, grey beard for the big night. The naughty or nice list is being drafted and checked, elves are preparing themselves and countless hours of preparation are coming to a head. Wait a minute, is Santa getting ready to hire new employees or is he getting ready to deliver millions of gifts and Christmas cheer to the well-behaved children of the world? Well, we all know the answer to that question, but there is actually much and more hiring managers can learn from Santa and how he deals with the craziness of Christmas.

In fact, Santa might have one of the most laborious, time-consuming and stressful jobs of all but he handles it like a champ. Think about it, has Santa ever flopped? You may have had a flop Christmas before, but it certainly was no fault of Santa’s! He consistently gets the job done and stays jolly while doing it. Santa may be one of the best employers of all time.

So hiring managers, pick up a pen, listen up and take some notes on the hiring tips we can all learn from Santa.

Preparation and Organization
It must be a bear getting gifts for millions of children ready and organized, don’t you think? In order to keep things running smooth, Santa and his elves must have impeccable organizational skills. In the same way, hiring managers must stay organized and keep all of their candidate’s documents and applications for a specific position together. Furthermore, Santa takes a whole year to prepare for Christmas to ensure he is ready. In the same light, hiring managers must prepare for an interview with a candidate in order to have a successful one on their part. Could you imagine signing onto a video interview or having a candidate come into your office without knowing one thing about them beforehand? Perhaps you don’t have to imagine it because you have done it before. Chances are the interview was slightly awkward and likely very unsuccessful. Recently Spark Hire talked about the candidate experience and how important it is to create a great one. Not being prepared for an interview with a candidate doesn’t make for a great candidate experience.

Much like how hiring managers expect job seekers to research the company before participating in an interview, job seekers expect hiring managers to have some idea of who they are and what they are about. After all, you have a nice outline of this candidate through their resume. Santa would never wake up on Christmas Eve with zero gifts ready, so hiring managers should never walk into an interview with no knowledge of a job seeker.

Good Judge of Character
“He’s making a list, checking it twice! Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice!” We all know Santa takes a good deal of time each year crafting his naughty/nice list. Hopefully you were always on it. He knows what children have to do to be on the nice list, and knows what causes a child to be added to the naughty list. On top of that, he’s thorough and checks that list not once, but twice- just to be sure. It’s safe to say that Santa is a good judge of character. Hiring managers need to be the same way. They need to know what makes job seekers great candidates and what doesn’t. They need to know what skills make a job seeker highly eligible for a position, and that the lack of those skills will put a candidate on the “not qualified list.”

At the core of this though is a deep understanding of the role that must be filled. Without this it can be near impossible for a hiring manager to judge whether a candidate is truly qualified or not. It’s also important that hiring managers be able to judge personality in order to make a good company culture fit. A hiring manager that cannot do this probably isn’t making the best hiring decisions for their company.

Top-Notch Training
Santa didn’t just wake up one day to find thousands of elves that knew how to get ready for Christmas. Maybe he did, but chances are he had to train them. He had to show them what they had to do in order to get the job done right, and it probably didn’t happen over night. In the same way, employers must take the time to train the employees they just hired. This is also part of creating a great candidate experience. To ensure that a new hire stays with the company for a long time, the training process must be hands-on and clear. Goals must be made evident and the first couple of weeks should be devoted to teaching this new hire about company values, their responsibilities and the company culture. Without this a new hire may feel like a fish out of water or that no one truly cares about them or their role. Adequately training new hires is essential in employee retention.

Good Attitude

Santa isn’t known as “jolly ole’ St. Nick” for no reason. He’s a happy person that exudes positivity. No one is expected to be happy and cheery all of the time, but when meeting job seekers and candidates interested in your company you must have a good attitude. As hiring manager, you are a representation of your company and one of the only references candidates have in the hiring process. That is why employers and hiring managers must represent their company in good light and avoid being rude and grumpy to candidates. Word of mouth travels fast and if it gets around that your company is made up of rude and negative people, it’s not so great for your company brand. Job seekers will associate that negativity with the overall company and share that bad experience with others. Take a note from Santa and whatever issues or setbacks you may be facing, try and keep a positive attitude in the interviewing and hiring process.

What are some things you do to improve your hiring process? Do you think hiring managers can take a few notes from Santa? Share with us in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by rwkvisual

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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