Recruiting and Staffing

A Few Smart Hiring Lessons From Summer Blockbusters

Superman Man of Steel superhero

Summertime is the season of box office blockbusters, when theaters abandon more intimate fare for movie spectacles.

Just because these sunny summer films contain fast cars and big explosions, however, doesn’t mean they don’t also include lessons you can apply to your hiring practices.

As the weather heats up and the inside of the cool theater beckons, here are just a few valuable hiring tips you can pick up from some of the biggest summer movies.

You might not be a superhero, but some of these tips might just help you save the day when it comes to finding and hiring the best people.

Don’t create your own Super Villains

In the recently released Iron Man 3, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) puts much of the action of the movie into play thanks to some careless and cruel behavior years before the movie begins. By bullying Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and never showing up to their rooftop meeting, Stark unknowingly creates his own enemy.

Don’t make the same mistake when it comes to hiring. Remember that candidate experience matters.

If you treat applicants well and with respect, these people can become vocal brand ambassadors whether or not they also become future employees. If you mistreat or ignore applicants, however, you might just create a super villain-style PR disaster for your company.

A recent CareerBuilder survey showed that 60 percent of applicants never even hear back after an interview with a company, whether in-person or through online video. Those who have bad experiences with your company might not turn into an evil villain, but 42 percent of them won’t ever apply for your open positions again and 22 percent will advise others not to apply for your jobs.

By treating your candidates well you can avoid creating a monster, protect your company brand, and maybe even develop loyal fans.

Supercharge your hiring

At the box office, speed and power are what summer movies are all about. This movie season will see the release of the sixth installment of the speeding car series with The Fast and the Furious 6. Plus, is it a bird or a plane? No, it’s just a reboot of the classic comic book hero Superman in Man of Steel.220px-Fast_and_Furious_Poster

Just like the drivers in The Fast and the Furious 6, you’ll want to supercharge your hiring engines in order to find the super-powered talent you need in your organization. This means adopting new technology and finding ways to make your hiring process faster than a speeding bullet.

New technology like social media recruitment and video interviews are great ways to isolate top talent and connect with them faster than in the traditional hiring process. Social media can make it much easier to find the best people, no matter where they spend their online time. The social space makes networking easier and also makes it simpler to connect with passive talent on the web.

Meanwhile, video interviews can make you as fast as the most souped-up engine since you can connect more personally in a smaller time frame. In one-way video interviews, candidates answer your written questions on video.

On a typical phone screen, you’re stuck on the line — often for up to 30 minutes — while a one-way video screen means you can quickly switch to the next candidate if you know the person is all wrong for the position. This means you have more time to focus on the best people, making it less likely you’ll want to fly around the world backwards to undo a bad hire.

Don’t get too focused on the green light

In the big screen adaptation of the literary classic The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) spends his evenings looking across the water and staring at the green light on the end of his former lover Daisy Buchanan‘s dock. He’s so focused on this ideal life he’s built for himself in his mind that he doesn’t enjoy the majestic wealth he’s managed to build or the elaborate parties he throws. He has convinced himself he can’t be happy without Daisy, even if she’s not quite the person he imagined her to be.

When you’re hiring, don’t get so stuck on your ideal candidate that you end up missing out on other great people who come along. Qualifications and experience are important, but so is cultural fit. Try not to get so literal with your job description that you end up cutting out talented candidates who might be just what your company needs.

ea_stid_posterGive an outside-the-box candidate a chance to really wow you in the interview process. Remember, you can always train for skills, but it’s much harder to find a candidate who has real passion for your industry, the job, and your company culture.

Teamwork works

Whether you’re a crew member on the Starship Enterprise or a member of the wolf pack, teamwork is a big buzzword in this summer’s crop of potential blockbusters. After all, few hiring managers are truly a Lone Ranger, so collaboration is important. In movies from Star Trek: Into Darkness to The Hangover Part 3, characters realize to reach their goals they’ll have to rely on each other.

The same is true with your hiring efforts. Make the best hire by getting everyone involved in the process. Discuss the best candidates, share video interviews, and don’t be a lone wolf when it comes to making important decisions.

Teamwork can pay off and net you better hiring practices, more diverse talent, and smarter hiring decisions.

Summer blockbusters might be movie spectacles, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t still lessons to be learned. This summer when you go to the movies, look out for some of the hiring lessons our favorite popcorn flicks can impart.

What are some hiring lessons you can learn from summer movies? Share in the comments!

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire , a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with Josh and Spark Hire on Twitter @SparkHire and Facebook.
  • VidCruiter

    Great article Josh. There is indeed a lot of lessons to learn from films as well as in every day life outside of business that can directly be applied to business management. I Especially agree with the notion of supercharging your hiring! Thanks for sharing.