HR Cinema: Ocean’s 11

In my mind, Ocean’s 11 is one of the coolest movies ever, with great lines, and an amazing cast. It also breaks my rule that remakes aren’t as good as the original, because this one blows the Rat Pack’s version out of the water.  Here’s what IMDB has to say:

Danny Ocean wants to score the biggest heist in history. He combines an eleven member team, including Frank Catton, Rusty Ryan and Linus Caldwell. Their target? The Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand. All casinos owned by Terry Benedict. It's not going to be easy, as they plan to get in secretly and out with $150 million.

So besides the fact that Ocean’s 11 is a pretty great movie, why should you watch it? Well, you might just learn a few things.

Pick Your Team Well

If there’s one thing you take away from this movie, its that choosing your team is incredibly important.  And, not only do you need to choose your team well, but you must choose with specific roles in mind.

Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan spend the first half hour of the movie choosing their team.  Each team member has a specific job to do, and they’re chosen for their ability to perform that job.  Ocean and Ryan know some of their team, from prior jobs, sort of like employee referrals, and the others they know of by reputation, even going so far as watching Yen perform.

While it’s generally not possible to choose employees with the same specificity and care that Ocean uses (unless of course you’re robbing a casino, then be very choosey), you can certainly take precautions with hiring.  References are useful, particularly if you ask more than the usual, basic questions about the potential employee’s work history.  Employee referral programs can also be helpful, particularly if you’re offering a bonus that escalates based on the amount of time the new employee remains with the company.  Utilize the resources that you have to make the best out of your candidate search, and don’t be afraid to get creative.

Movie takeaway: Be careful, like Danny Ocean, and make sure you’re hiring folks with the skills for their specific roles.


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