Bank Holiday Weekend - Films About Recruitment

Posted May 3 2018 By Mary Palmer


Since it’s a Bank Holiday weekend – and you might fancy putting your feet up whilst you revel in the luxury of an extra long lie – we thought we’d help organise your viewing material.

Believe it or not, recruitment has been the subject matter for many a Hollywood blockbuster. Although it might not seem like an obvious choice, there is enough drama and intrigue to keep movie makers going back for more.

We’ve steered away from the obvious choices like The Wolf of Wall Street and Jerry McGuire to make you think a little about how recruitment works.

Take a look at some of the films on our list …  

The Godfather


Often billed as the greatest film trilogy of all time (well, maybe not, given how Godfather III is received), The Godfather is definitely one big recruitment process. Think about it: Marlon Brando’s ageing Don Corleone must decide which of his sons will inherit the family business. Sonny (James Caan) proves himself to be too short-tempered, Fredo (John Cazale) is too weak and naïve … So that leaves Michael (Al Pacino). Your local friendly neighbourhood psychopath. He proves that, when it comes to a job interview, sometimes it really can be survival of the fittest.


A fantastic Norwegian thriller based on Jo Nesbo’s book of the same name, the film centres around successful but insecure corporate recruiter (played by Aksel Henni) who lives a double life as an art thief to fund his lavish lifestyle. It’s a little bit madcap at times, but utterly thrilling. It’s also the highest grossing Norwegian film of all time. If you like a good old cat-and-mouse chase, this is the film for you. Maybe the moral of the story is that recruiters should be paid more to save them turning to a life of crime …

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


The entire visit to the mysterious Willy Wonka’s factory is a job interview. Wonka (Gene Hackman) is looking for someone to prove they are innovative, calm, selfless and trustworthy enough to inherit his confectionary business. Several candidates fall down along the way – like Augustus Gloop getting sucked up a pipe or Veruca Salt meeting her end in the Golden Egg Room. Only the unassuming Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum) proves himself to be respectful and observant enough to succeed in the end. An unorthodox hiring process, yes, but it worked, didn’t it?

The Temp

The tagline for this film is “Don’t get mad, get promoted.” It’s certainly enough to keep you on your toes at work! When Peter Derns (Timothy Hutton) finds himself in immediate need of an Executive Assistant, Kris Bolin (Lara Flynn Boyle) only too happily steps in. However, when some of his business rivals die in mysterious circumstances, Peter begins to wonder about this ‘too good to be true’ EA. Especially when she makes it clear that she is also rooting for the top spot … The Temp is a really under-rated thriller.

The Devil’s Advocate


Again, maybe not an obvious choice but Al Pacino’s incarnation of the Devil is literally trying to recruit Keanu Reeves’ over-achieving lawyer to the dark side. Now, we’d never ask you to sell your soul for a job but it is a very interesting take on the lengths some hiring managers will go to to get who they want for the job. If you’re not a horror fan, give this a miss as it gets very disturbing at times. Would you pass the ultimate job interview? More importantly, would you want to?

The Company Men

This is a really interesting and emotive look at the effects of corporate downsizing in America. It stars Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones, charting how each of the men do all they can to hang on to their jobs. It examines how redundancy not only affects the psyche of the individual but families and communities as a whole. It’s all about finding self-worth in the job hunting process. It’s bleak at times but, ultimately, uplifting.

We wished we led as exciting and intriguing lives as these. We don’t. We spend a lot of time making coffee, on the phone or eating.

Have a great weekend. We look forward to catching up with all of our clients and candidates on Tuesday.


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