… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Wanted: It’s not about recruiting? Or is it?

Possible Spoiler Alert: This post may contain spoilers for the movie Wanted. If you have not seen the movie and do not want to risk learning about it before seeing it, do not read any further. Instead, go to the theatre and then read the post.

I went to see Wanted this weekend and, primed by Laurie of Punk Rock HR fame, I noticed a lot of employee relations issues. So, after being encouraged by The HR Maven, here are some things I learned from Wanted.

1.Your employees are not here to be harassed and intimidated. Employees aren’t punching bags and they are not your way to work through a bad childhood. If you expect respect and hard work, you need to do it yourself. That way, even people who dislike their jobs will at least treat it, and you, with respect too. Which is always preferable to embarrassing employee walk outs.

2.Recruit for potential, train for success. Sometimes you need to look for the potential, not the skills, in candidates as they may not have all the qualifications you are looking for. But if the potential is there, even if they don’t know they have it, you can train it. For the right candidate, the investment is well worth it.

3.Retention is all about knowing what people want. You hired the right candidate, now how do you help them, help themselves, and feel motivated too? You need to know what they need or at the least know how to bring that knowledge out of them. Talk to them, get to know them, and find out what their goals are. I don’t recommend beating them up to find this out though.

4.Don’t let perceived boundaries inhibit you. Now, laws of physics notwithstanding, if you had never been told that bullets flew straight and you were asked to curve a bullet in order to hit a target, wouldn’t you try? It’s an interesting question. Especially when delivered by Morgan Freeman (he makes everything sound good). What could you do, what would you try, if you were never told it was impossible? Entrepreneurs are often the ones who reached beyond accepted boundaries. Don’t be afraid and don’t limit yourself.

5.Transparency and accountability is key. Having one person, and only one person, in charge of a critical function is just plain stupid. It doesn’t matter who they are or how reliable they seem, it’s stupid. Hold everyone accountable for their actions and the more transparency you can put around the critical functions the better. Don’t take on any more risk then you have to and you’ll never have to worry about misplaced trust or deception.

What other lessons did you learn from Wanted? And no, I’m not talking about how rats love peanut butter more than cheese.

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6 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Laurie :

    OMG, glad you posted! There’s a whole discussion on the interwebs about the supervisor in the office. Does she need to be fat? Is it discriminatory? Is it lazy and easy film making? Can you make her just as evil without picking on her exterior?

    Dunno. Something to think about.

  • 2 HR Minion :

    I think it is just lazy film making. I don’t think they had to make her fat. I think it would have worked regardless of what she looked like. But it’s easier to just characterize her that way because it requires less effort to make her seem really obnoxious.

    I did like the movie but it wasn’t because of the dialogue or characterization. 😉

  • 3 Rachel - Employment File :

    I don’t know whether or be impressed or disturbed. To think that I watched the movie just to see some entertainment!

  • 4 HR Minion :

    I think it is equally justified to be impressed AND disturbed. 🙂

    And I did find the movie highly entertaining too.

  • 5 The Happy Employee :

    I wasn’t shocked that the supervisor was overweight since I understood it as an Office Space homage (the way she talks, the filming and, of course, the red stapler).

    In the Graphic Novel, she is African-American. Now imagine how shocking THIS would have been in a US movie…

  • 6 HR Minion :

    I never would have made the Office Space connection. I love that movie. 🙂