Mad Men, one of the most talked about television dramas of our time. Over it’s 7 seasons we have witnessed the growth, decline and merging of businesses, the acquisition and loss of clients and the rise and fall of staff. Sound familiar? The competitive world of recruitment has a lot in common with the world inhabited by Don Draper. This blog shares some Mad Men inspired recruitment tips designed to help you rise to the top.


Be an expert
Don pitches with confidence; whether he is advertising cars or cameras he knows whom he is pitching to and what they want from their campaign (even if they don’t know it yet).

A negative perception of professional recruiters is that they don’t know enough about the roles they recruit for. Hiring managers want to be confidant you will find the right candidates whilst candidates want to be confident they will be matched with relevant roles.

If your job is to place top candidates in digital marketing roles you should know your ‘paid’ from your ‘organic’. An understanding of the industry and professions you recruit for will help increase placements as it maximises the chances of selecting the right shortlist.


Work hard and work smart
Starting as a secretary in 1960 many would expect the glass ceiling to be hit at office manager. Peggy’s meteoric rise from secretary to Copy Chief during an age where opportunities were limited for women illustrates how important it is to work both hard and smart. Contributing to a focus group Peggy seizes an opportunity to showcase her creative talent. From that point onwards Peggy’s work ethic, drive and ability help advance her career and the agency’s reputation.

To succeed in recruitment you need to work both hard and smart. Modern day advertisers, marketers and recruiters have a clear advantage over the Mad Men generation – data.

If you are utilising digital channels to engage candidates; monitor results, keep track of messages, distribution times, networks etc. Review regularly and amend activity accordingly. Work smart and optimise your activity so it delivers the maximum results.


Network and communicate – regularly!
From client visits, lunches and drinks to award ceremonies the staff at Sterling Cooper are no strangers to networking. Rodger Sterling and his team are in contact with prospects and customers on a daily basis, often meeting in person whilst regularly conversing over the telephone.

In the age of social media and online the importance of face-to-face communication is often overlooked. Use email and social networks to help you, don’t use them to avoid picking up the phone or getting out and speaking to someone. People buy from people they like and it is easier to make an impression face-to-face.


Brand is everything
From your tweets to your attire, everything that can be seen or heard by a client, candidate or fellow employee contributes towards your personal brand.

Does your personal brand fit with your organisations? Look objectively at your personal brand, does it align with what your clients and candidates want? Being unique and standing out in a crowded market place is great but make sure you are the right fit for your target audience(s).

Draper’s personal brand projects authority. He dresses sharply, speaks with certainty and commands a room. Draper gives his customers confidence he and his team will deliver, make sure you do the same.


Do you have any Mad Men inspired recruitment tips to add? Leave a comment below and let me know. If you are looking for more recruitment tips, news and advice check out the HRS blog.

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