What is the Rodriguez List? And What’s It Got to Do with Digital Recruitment?

Director Robert Rodriguez is the mastermind behind pulpy, cult-classic films like Sin City, Machete, and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn. Recently, he’s found tremendous success directing family blockbusters. His latest feature, We Can Be Heroes, is arguably the most popular film on Netflix.

But Rodriguez didn’t always make mega-budget Hollywood films. His first feature, the Spanish-language ‘neo-Western’ El Mariachi, was made for just $7,225.

As detailed in his book Rebel Without a Crew, Rodriguez credits the success of this picture to a method that has become known in filmmaking and wider business circles as the Rodriguez List.

But this method doesn’t only apply to film. It can help recruiters too.

What is the Rodriguez List?

Simply put, the Rodriguez List is an approach that encourages filmmakers (and, by extension, any project managers) to focus on the resources they have rather than those they don’t to keep budgets down.

This was applied extensively in the making of El Mariachi. For example, Rodriguez couldn’t afford costumes for the guards in a jail scene, but he knew real corrections officers who could appear on-screen in their work uniforms. Rather than use a dolly, the director was pushed around in a wheelchair while holding the camera. And instead of using a clapperboard, the actors simply signalled the numbers of the scene and the take with their fingers.

Each time, rather than invest in new resources, Rodriguez made full use of those already available to him.

The best way to apply this method to your project is to write an actual list at the planning stage. Using the example of a film, you might ask:

  • Can any of my friends act? Which parts could they play?
  • Which locations can I get access to? Does my friend work at a bar? Can I use my workplace? Are there any local parks I can shoot in?
  • Which props can I use? Does my friend have a cool car, or would my dog look good on film?

The answers to these questions give you a list of resources that you already have. This list will then inform the approach you’ll take in delivering your project.

What’s this Got to Do with Recruitment?

Making a Rodriguez List allows you to see at a glance the resources which are already available to help you address a recruitment problem.

These resources may include members of your team with expertise in particular industries or geographical areas, tools like your ATS database, and your presence on job boards and LinkedIn.

In writing a Rodriguez List, you might also rediscover crucial resources which you forgot you had.

For instance, while many recruiters are making the most of their presence on social media, I’ve seen many pages which are neglected or abandoned altogether. With Jobsi’s help, Facebook pages attract a minimum of 400 additional applicants a month. So, whatever your recruitment goals, your Facebook account definitely deserves a place on your list.

For help with making the most of the digital recruitment resources on your Rodriguez List, contact us today.


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