HR lessons from Rom-Coms

HR lessons from Rom-Coms


Valentine’s Day is a time for flowers, chocolates and romantic comedies. Whether it’s a cinema date or sitting on the sofa watching a DVD, the chances are you will witness some playful love story over the weekend. But for HR professionals, what can be learnt from the cute couplings and manic mishaps of some of the films in the genre?

Love Actually
Love Actually is a film with multiple stories lines, and no doubt a number of lessons for romantics and HR alike. However, one of the most memorable scenes in the film is when Keira Knightley’s character opens her front door to her husband’s best man – someone she thought hated her. He has a message to convey (he actually loves her) and he delivers it in a clear, memorable and effective manner (see above). While it might not be an idea to present to the Board in the same manner, it does show best practice when it comes to delivering sensitive and important messages.

Hitch
Will Smith is ‘the date doctor’. With his expertise, seemingly unsuccessful candidates achieve their near-impossible ambitions of wooing the woman of their dreams. This is exemplified in the case of Albert the accountant (Kevin James) who wishes to date a celebrity client. While the film shatters all thoughts of ‘being out of someone’s league’ it also shows that underperformers can achieve more with the help of a strong coach or mentor.

Friends With Benefits
When you think of an executive recruiter, Mila Kunis isn’t the first person that comes to mind. But her tactic in hiring Justin Timberlake’s character as Art Director of GQ is one that recruiters can certainly learn from. The role was perfect, the brand was strong and the salary was much higher but Timberlake’s character was nervous about moving across the country to New York City. Kunis didn’t sell the job, she sold the city – resulting in a successful placement. Emphasising the fact that candidates are motivated to move jobs by more than just money.

What Women Want
Mel Gibson lives his life under the pretence that he is loved by women. He has ‘success’ with them and thinks that his charms are always well received. But when he is gifted with the power to read women’s minds he is sadly mistaken. Managers often make the same mistakes; they think they know what their employees want but a multitude of studies show that there is a mismatch. Therefore it is important to actually listen to the needs of your workforce and not just assume you know best.

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