5 Recruitment Lessons We Can Learn From Roald Dahl

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn

It’s time to bring the magic of Roald Dahl to recruitment. Roald Dahl is one of the most famous and celebrated children's authors. His books have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide and his wise words have inspired generations of people, not just children. You can’t help but be captivated by the determination and resilience of his characters and the wisdom of his words.

We can be inspired and discover a lot from Roald Dahl about life, learning and the dynamic field of recruitment. Discover the valuable recruitment lessons we can learn from the creative genius of Roald Dahl. From embracing diversity to showcasing enthusiasm and celebrating resilience, these lessons can transform your hiring process.

In light of Roald Dahl Story Day on September 13th, take a look at these splendiferous lessons in Spencer Clarke Group’s very own BFG (Big Friendly Guide) to recruitment.

“I understand what you're saying, and your comments are valuable, but I'm gonna ignore your advice.” — Fantastic Mr Fox.

Don’t do as Fantastic Mr Fox does! Read on to discover some phizz-whizzing recruitment lessons we can take from Roald Dahl.


“Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.’ – Billy and The Minpins

Probably the greatest lesson you will ever learn, believe! Roald Dahl encouraged people to believe in magic, encouraged optimism and inspired value in everyone. Self-belief is a powerful lesson in recruitment as it allows recruiters to better help, prepare and inspire confidence and success in candidates. 

Belief in oneself and in candidates encourages us to soldier on in the face of life’s numerous challenges and adversities. In the case of Charlie (from the Chocolate Factory) obstacles come in the form of poverty, a chocolate river, and everlasting gobstoppers, but even in the demanding and stressful recruitment industry, this inspiring and reassuring lesson is one to always keep. 

In recruitment, belief is an essential tool and a driving force for success. It empowers candidates to thrive within the organisation and could lead to a golden ticket. Recruiters who believe in a candidate's abilities can provide valuable coaching and guidance throughout the process. 

Believing in candidates and treating them with respect and fairness builds trust and allows recruiters to identify and nurture top talent. Provide constructive feedback, regardless of the hiring outcome to contribute to a positive candidate experience. Ultimately, this belief can lead to stronger organisations and more fulfilling careers for candidates. 


″‘What I mean and what I say is two different things.” – The BFG 

We can see the scale of Dahl’s creativity and his method of communication in one of his best-loved books The BFG. The Big Friendly Giant doesn’t talk nonsense exactly— he just has his own language and way of communicating. Roald Dahl created Gobblefunk, a language to communicate and welcome children into the world of his stories. Even though the BFG mixes up his words, he still manages to communicate well and convey his message and meaning.

Good communication is an essential skill in recruitment. You don’t have to make up your own language, but it is vital that you communicate well and maintain constant and clear communication throughout the hiring process. 

For today's recruiters, the lines of communication are more complex than they are in Roald Dahl’s stories. Linkedin and even social media pages like Facebook are key contact tools and resources for employers and candidates. 

Outreach and correspond to potential candidates, this initial contact is a great form of networking to find great talent, keep candidates informed and reflects positively on your organisation

Be an enthusiast in life

“I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life.” – My Uncle Oswald

Today's competitive job market often requires recruiters and hiring professionals to wear many hats (whether that be Willy Wonka’s top hat or The Grand High Witch’s hat). More than anything, you need to be enthusiastic. You have to sell the position to a candidate and the only way to do this is to show attention to detail and a true passion for the role you are trying to sell. 

You want your enthusiasm to be contagious. A candidate will buy into your enthusiasm for the role and instantly want to go the extra mile to secure it and their enthusiasm will be indicative of an employee who will thrive on a mission-driven team. 

Be an enthusiastic professional in everything you do, you are more likely to be successful and memorable. Enthusiastic recruiters show attention to detail and are productive as they execute their role with energy. Drive enthusiasm and passion like Willy Wonka and see positive results.

Never give up

“Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us to death. They wouldn't be exciting if they didn't.’ – Danny the Champion of the World

If there is one thing Roald Dahl’s characters do when times are hard, it’s persevere even when there are challenges. Heroes like Matilda, Charlie and Danny the Champion of the World were all resilient, overcoming hard times and difficulties. In short: don’t give up. 

For recruiters, there are always challenges and set-backs around every corner, but it’s how you recover and learn from these challenges that will allow you to thrive. Candidates might let you down, or employers might move their goal posts at the last minute, just take a step back, reassess and alter your approach if you need to, but persevere. 

You have to be adaptable ensuring potential candidates are confident and the best fit for the role. Adapting to change and overcoming difficulties will keep you on the right track. Roald Dahl teaches us to persevere and his beloved characters overcome some real twizzlers.*

*Twizzler- A difficult or unpleasant situation.

Keep learning

“There are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t even started wondering about yet.” - James and the Giant Peach

Be like Matilda, read more to grow more. Matilda took pride in educating herself about anything and everything and because of this she is one of the greatest classic characters of children’s literature. You can’t possibly know everything all at once, so keep improving your skills.

In recruitment, it is important to keep up to date with new updates and relevant strategies in the recruitment business. Recruiters can improve their skills and learn new techniques for sourcing candidates or better understanding clients' needs. This helps recruiters gain new insights into the challenges candidates face in the job market, enabling them to provide better guidance.

If you want to grow professionally in recruitment, that means staying relevant in a competitive market. Willy Wonka was known for pushing the boundaries and inventing the most amazing things in his chocolate factory, and his rivals were keen to discover what he was doing and jump on board. 

Research the workforce employment market to enable an effective competitive edge in attracting new recruits. Don’t be afraid to try something new, whether that’s experimenting with different methods to source candidates or testing an alternative way of communicating, the only thing that can get in your way is you. A closed mind could lower your chances of success and progression, overshadow your achievements.

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Since 2017 we have been changing the way recruitment works. Known for our exceptional services in connecting talented individuals with diverse job opportunities. 

We are continuously evolving to encourage and shape a brighter, more fulfilling future for all. We endeavour to make a positive impact on businesses and jobseekers alike. 

From our offices and organisation to the way we conduct business, we are passionate about matching the right candidates with the perfect job that includes boosting their salary, standard of living as well as improving their work life balance and mental health.

Learn more about our recruitment services and how we can help you find the perfect match for your career or organisation.

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

Public Sector 

In eleven specialisms:

Accountancy & Finance

Education & SEND

Construction, Trades & Labour

Healthcare, Social Care & Nursing


Corporate Functions & Business Support

HR & Workforce Development

IT & Digital

Property & Asset Management  

Planning, Development & Regeneration 

Highways, Infrastructure & Engineering

If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you contact us on 01772 954200 to see how we can help? One of our consultants will be happy to listen to the challenges which you are facing and advise on the best possible solution for you. 

If you’re searching for a new role, why not visit our job page to take a look at the latest opportunities? Alternatively, upload your CV and one of our experienced consultants will contact you when a relevant opportunity becomes available. 

If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help? One of our consultants will be happy to listen to the challenges which you are facing and advise on the best possible solution for you. 

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