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7 movies every HR professional must watch in 2022 | peopleHum
HR Trends

7 movies every HR professional must watch in 2022

HR blogs
Nirvi B
January 12, 2022
Human Resource Management Platform

When life gets tough, a dramatic scene or a line from a movie is enough to cheer us. Why, because movies encourage us to reflect on our own experiences. It magnifies elements of human experience: murder, violence, comedy, hatred, battles, envy, romance, gender, apocalypse and so on. To make the most of the forthcoming year, here is a list of human resources movies 2022 to watch, laugh, and cry while their stories, thoughts, and philosophies help you become your better self.

7 HR movies to watch in 2022

1. Don’t Look Up: Biases in recruiting are real and may be bigger than you know

Adam McKay's satirical science fiction, Don't Look Up, stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as two astronomers attempting to warn humanity about a looming comet that will wipe all humanity. The film is an analogy for climate change, also depicting our current culture's unwillingness to hear and listen to scientific truth.

What HR professionals can learn from the movie:

The film reflects our anti-intellectual culture as a whole, which has lost its capacity for introspection and reflection. Is it possible that you are biased during recruiting without even realising it? As per science, yes. Research shows that humans are not immune to implicit bias, and that our judgments are influenced by unconscious activity in our brains. This also applies to recruiting decisions. The movie is a good example for HR professionals who must examine every step of the recruiting cycle, from the recruitment marketing strategies until the time you hire someone, to detect any biases.

Human resources movies 2022 | peopleHum

2. Pulp Fiction: Employer branding is the key

Tarantino's Pulp Fiction is recognised as a masterpiece that tells a story about two mob hitmen, Vincent and Jules (Will Smith) who are on a mission to reclaim a bag belonging to their gangster boss. An old boxer, Butch Coolidge, is hired by the boss to throw a fight. The film focuses heavily on character discussions that reflect a dark comedic humour and their thoughts on life.

What HR professionals can learn from the movie:

Vincent and Jules have a distinct sense of style - identical black suits and ties. But, for instance, they have to change their appearance after committing a crime in their car. Their new clothing doesn't really represent their own brand, i.e., rather than gangsters, they start appearing as "volleyball playing dorks." HR professional may look at this keeping in mind the value of your own employer brand and how it might influence the way job applicants perceive you. Does your employer brand image and story give you the kind of reputation you want among your candidates and employees? If not, what steps do you need to take to make things different?

movies for HRs | peopleHum

3.  Office Space: Engaged employees can make or break your business

Peter Gibbons is a disengaged programmer stuck in a soul-crushing office job filled with mindless and useless daily activities. There's a lot to dislike about Peter’s software company, including mandatory paperwork, cubicles that block light but not noise, and routine downsizing. Equipment is never fixed, and working overtime is "highly encouraged” and appears to be mandatory.

What HR professionals can learn from the movie:

No film does a better job of emphasising the significance of employee engagement than Office Space. This 90's classic demonstrates how disengagement can lead to workplace theft, distrust, and eventual workplace ruins. All of this is conveyed in a modern office comedy that has been listed among the funny HR movies. The film also depicts how corporate bureaucracy and disengagement may affect employee motivation and morale. It can serve as a reminder to HR executives on what not to do, by preaching ways to strengthen and improve a company's employee engagement, which can lead to increased productivity. If there's one theme in the film, it's how a dominating boss's irrational behaviours may suffocate a business.

movies for HRs | peopleHum

4. Into the Wild: People experiences matter

Based on the true story, Christopher McCandless is a good student and athlete who leaves behind his wealthy life & promising future to get away from rules and conformity of society. Instead of pursuing a lucrative career, he decides to sell his belongings, donate his savings to charity, and embark on an adventure in the Alaskan wilderness. Chris meets a series of adventures & people along the way that influences him in a unique and significant way.

What HR professionals can learn from the movie:

The lesson is straightforward: every organisation has its own set of rules and policies. Chris wanted to get away from the society due of its standards and no real freedom. Millions of people left their jobs in 2021. The Great Resignation occurred because more and more employees want to feel connected to a bigger purpose at work. Many would argue that Chris was unreasonable. Yet many people today do the same thing on a much smaller scale. Like many others today, he desired escape from mainstream culture. And that’s why people experiences are crucial.

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.”

This movie might not be counted among the typical human resources movies on Netflix. But it gives out a message on creating a positive people experiences that make staff feel more productive, happy, and driven. Businesses and HR must now reconsider their functions. Millennials have a significant role in this. Unlike the baby boomers before them, they have a distinct perspective on employment. And since millennials make up almost a quarter of the global population, HR must be reinvented so that workplaces become a place where employees desire to work.

movies for HRs | peopleHum

5. The Shawshank Redemption: “Hope is a pocket of possibility”

The story follows a former prosperous banker, Andy Dufresne, who becomes a prisoner in the Bleak Shawshank jailhouse after being judged guilty of a crime he did not commit. At first, Andy feels lonely and isolated but he soon understands that there is something deep within a human body that nobody can touch or reach. Hope.

What HR professionals can learn from the movie:

HR professionals may relate to the Andy’s unusual approach to dealing with his new, difficult life, as he befriends a number of fellow inmates along the road, including a wise inmate named Red. The movie gives out a strong message: even when the odds are stacked against us, we must never give up hope. The world of work has been exceedingly stressful over the past 22 months. With the appearance of the Omicron variety, the uncertainty remains, as does the battle between people and productivity. As leaders navigate unfamiliar territory, the film set against the backdrop of the Great Resignation serves as a timely reminder that survival isn't enough in times of adversity... we need hope.

movies for HRs | peopleHum

6. Coach Carter: The power of team building is profound

Ken Carter returns to his old high school in Richmond in 1999 to rebuild the basketball team. Carter is disturbed by his players' awful attitudes and their poor play performance, and he sets out to alter both.

What HR professionals can learn from the movie:

HR executives may confide in Coach Carter who wanted to make a difference in the lives of the basketball team members. Carter did not sit well with the players at first (much similar to HRs being disliked) since he made them sign contracts that required the players to behave respectfully, adhere to a dress code, and receive good grades. Carter tries to maintain his techniques during the argument, convinces the boys that they need decent values for their futures, and discovers that he ended up having a greater impact on them. As leaders, HRs can take notes from here for assisting employees in realising their full potential, even if they are unaware of it. Organisations must set the goals and then install the belief in the team that they can reach these objectives. To truly realise your team’s collective potential at workplace, HRs need to strengthen teamwork and build a strong team spirit as leaders.

7. In Good Company: Organisational culture can’t be ignored

Our last but among the most important movies about HR is the one that stars Dennis Quaid (Dan), Topher Grace (Carter), and Scarlett Johansson as employees of Sports America magazine, which is acquired by a huge corporation GlobeCom. Mark (a successful GlobeCom salesman) is hired to turn around Sports America's marketing. Dan who is 51 years old (and has served Sports America for more than 20 years in ad-sales) is replaced by Carter who is only 26 years old (and has no prior ad-sales experience.)

What HR professionals can learn from the movie:

Even though Dan is fortunate to keep his job, rather as “Carter's subordinate”, several other long-serving employees are fired in quick succession. The threat of losing their employment loomed large for the rest. On the one hand, employees must cope with job uncertainty. On the other, they must adjust to the new corporate culture introduced and exhibited by Mark and Carter. Dan finds himself in an awkward situation as his years of experience are called into question in the new cultural environment. These workplace movies focus on the relevance of organisational culture. Within a company, evaluating and creating effective leadership styles is crucial. Reviewing achievements and failures inside firms offer many lessons and growth ideas. These lessons are critical to any organization's overall growth and development. Among the other human resources movies 2022, "In Good Company" depicts some of these ideas, such as the intricacies of leadership styles, corporate direction, and commercial ethics.

movies for HRs | peopleHum

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October 25, 2021

A very inspiring list. Thanks for putting this together


October 25, 2021

This is such a great list of women leaders! More power to you all