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Tips Recruiters Can Learn From The Movies

Published: Friday 10th April 2015

Here at Zoek, we like a good film or two. In this blog we’ve listed ten films we believe recruiters should watch at least once. 

Working Girl (1988)

Although we aren’t of the opinion that every candidate should have the ability to transform into their boss, recruiters should be looking for people who can step up to a challenge. Tess’ boss Katharine steals her business idea, so Tess steals it back. That’s the kind of attitude that gets your candidates places. Working Girl also features a rather literal version of the elevator pitch. 

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Like Jordan Belfort, you should aim to have personal contact with all your potential clients and candidates. You should create a competitive environment, so that people will want to succeed. By staying focused and pushing towards achieving your goals, you will get there eventually. But aside from being relentlessly persistent, driven and confident, recruiters should have a better business ethic and more personal care for their clients than the ‘wolf’.

Trading Places (1983) – A Must-Watch For Recruiters

In Trading Places an upper-class financial wizard trades places with a low-life hustler, in a rather high-concept piece of film-making that highlights how skills don’t really show on paper. A more subtle recruitment point the film is making is the importance of celebrating your successes  –  in this case, by having both the lobster AND the cracked crab for lunch.

Film frame on top of a table

Ghostbusters (1984)

Three unemployed para-psychological professors decide to make the most of their entrepreneurial skills and fill a gap in the market. Recruiters dream about candidates with such transferable skills and proactive attitudes.

Pursued (2004)

Not a great film, but an intriguing premise none-the-less. In Pursued, a fast-rising hi-tech executive must protect his career and family from the ruthless tactics of a corporate head-hunter. When the traditional offers of more money, more power, and better perks fall on deaf ears, the head-hunters tactics quickly escalate into violence.  All recruiters should know when to stop.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

When your nightmare boss asks you to get your hands on a not yet published Harry Potter novel or face the boot, what do you do? This could be one to remember for interviewing new candidates. The Devil Wears Prada also highlights that even the best candidates might not know exactly what it is they want from a new role, and that a position they hadn’t previously considered might be the best step forward to landing their dream job.

recruitment recruiting hire recruit hiring recruiter interview employment, recruiters concept

Jerry Maguire (1996)

In this film a recently laid off sports agent, played by Tom Cruise, deals with a difficult to place client; football player Rod Tidwell. Their collaborative route to success is a struggle but once Tidwell’s pro career suddenly takes off, his gratitude towards his agent shows. Their business relationship has progressed into a personal one – an approach Maguire championed in his previous job. Recruiters should believe in their candidates and aim to find them a role that suits their skills as well as their personality.

Moneyball (2011)

Another sports drama, but this one stars Brad Pitt. Who knew the worlds of sports and recruitment were so closely related? In Moneyball, a baseball manager attempts to assemble a competitive team in order to save it from a financial downfall. Taking a sabermetric approach to scouting and value assessing new players turns out to be a great success. This film highlights how recruiters should focus on finding candidates that don’t only have the necessary skills individually, but also fit well within the existing professional team.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

“You’re going to need a crew who are as nuts as you are.” Clooney and Pitt recruit a team of eleven criminals whose reputation precedes them. This is a reminder that recruiters should focus on recruiting those at the top of their game.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

If your candidates complain about the demands of modern job interviews, just remind them about how nobody has ever faced a job interview quite as extreme as poor Charlie, who was only expecting a nice day out at the local chocolate factory with his grandpa before he was faced with tests involving psychedelic chocolate rivers and illuminous Oompa-Loompas.

If you are a recruiter, looking for the best candidates to fill your positions, why not start advertising your job vacancies on Zoek! Register here and let Zoek help you achieve faster, smarter recruitment. For more top tips for recruiters, visit our Zoek blog.

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