Recruitment lessons from James Bond

Recruitment lessons from James Bond

Recruiters can learn a lot from watching James Bond, according to an industry expert.

The iconic gentleman-spy isn’t back on the big screen until the end of October. But with the release of Sam Smith’s title theme on Friday, it is safe to say that Bondmania is in the air.

As the premiere of Spectre gets closer, Matthew Dodd, Operations Manager at Zoek, argues that there are a lot of things that recruiters can learn from 007.

Below Dodd discusses the attributes that made Bond a success in the world of espionage and from which recruiters can learn from.

Get your charm on

In the first 15 minutes of Goldfinger, James Bond not only blows up a building, but also manages to persuade one of the bullion-obsessed megalomaniac’s associates to swap sides. To Dodd, that charm is the first thing that recruiters should take notice of.

He explains: “Attributes such as excellent manners, a self-deprecating humour and the ability to charm the birds out of the trees (an in Bondland, into his arms) go a long way to making people want to work with you, both clients and candidates.”

Know your enemies

While 007 may have switched from baccarat to Texas Hold ‘em poker in the 50 past years, the gentleman-spy always uses gambling to measure up his enemies. In the high-risk and highly competitive world of recruitment, Dodd argues that getting to know your enemies can go a long way.

The Operations Manager says: “Don’t become complacent, use a little undercover espionage to research how other companies in your specific recruitment field are operating… and, as Bond knows too well, be careful who you trust.”

Be brave

While recruiters don’t necessarily fight of mad scientists hell-bent on either conquering or destroying the world, they are facing tough situations on a daily basis. To Dodd, it is about how recruiters deal with those efforts that will show your clients and candidates what you are made of.

He urges recruiters to be courageous and to deal with challenges promptly. Dodd says:”You’ll gain respect from clients and colleagues and a good reputation.”

Expect the unexpected

Through the years, Bond has learned to sleep with one eye open. In Octopussy, the ability to expect the unexpected saved his life as a man with a rotating saw suddenly attacked him in his sleep. Dodd tells recruiters that they should keep their guards up as well.

He says: “Perhaps you are about to lose a major client, or your best candidate decides to turn down the position you’re hoping to fill. Spying potential challenges and their solutions before they arise will put you ahead of the pack.”

Get your gadgets ready

In Skyfall, Q teases James Bond: “Were you expecting an exploding pen? We don't reallygo in for that sort of thing anymore.” 

Nevertheless, the Q department is always ready to supply 007 with the right equipment for his missions. And most recruiters already know how invaluable a good CRM system can be to create fantastic candidate and client relationship.

Dodd tells you not to stop there. He says: “Applicant tracking systems, remote video interviewing and mobile recruiting tools – 2.8 million jobseekers a month are believed to access job listings from mobile devices in the UK, with 67% looking daily – are all advances you need to embrace.”

Be social

From Felix Leiter to Quarrel Jr, James Bond has a friend in every city. 007 knows the value of a social network. Recruiters should keep that in mind and improve their recruitment strategies on social media platforms. Dodd says: “Remember to check candidates’ online presence in the form of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook too.”


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