recruiting lessons oceans movies

With the latest film in the Ocean series, Ocean’s  8 rolling out to theatres around the globe we at Hello Talent thought we’d take a moment to see what recruiting lessons these movies can teach us. These movies have been fun, box office sensations because they take us on an unpredictable ride as we watch a team work together to reach a goal that sometimes seems impossible. If you think about it, this is a lot like recruiting.

What helps the Ocean’s team to thrive and what can your recruitment learn from them? We’ve found three key drivers:

Shared Vision

Teams can only work well together if they have a clear understanding of where they are going and why. In the Ocean’s movies the chance of a big score, plus the challenge of getting there is what brings all those different (and often conflicting) personalities together. When it comes to recruiting, a shared vision is just as important. It’s not enough to simply want to fill vacancies, you should want to fill them the right way.

A shared recruiting vision includes a perspective about the type(s) of candidates the company wants, how recruiting practices shape and strengthen the company and its culture, and what processes are key to getting there. By creating this shared vision, you are able to give everyone on your team the purpose they need to feel inspired and motivated. Furthermore, your candidates will have a better experience as well. When recruiters feel motivated and excited candidates can feel it, and that will help you to close those hires out.

Constant Communication

One of the pitfalls that hurts recruiting teams is that recruiters can end up focusing so much on their roles that they forget to keep their teammates and hiring managers up to date. When this happens, disaster can strike. The Ocean’s teams tend to have their biggest problems when they stop communicating, which is why so much of those films is spent chronicling the preparation before the heist and the nearly nonstop chatter that happens during it. This allows everyone to know what is happening and avoid doing double work or getting in each other’s way.

If you are looking to improve communication on your recruiting team here are three things to try:

  • Daily Standups

Daily standups are frequently done on software teams, but can be easily applied to any other team. Each morning team members share their key actions for the day as well as challenges they might need help on. Meetings should take no longer than ten minutes (standing helps force everyone to keep it short).

  • Effective Chat Tools

Slack has become one of the hottest tech tools on the market – we recently wrote about how much we love their career page – because of how easily it combines the benefits of email, instant messaging, and social media timelines into one platform. Using a tool like Slack or Microsoft Teams ensures people can easily send  updates and ask for help. It’s much less time consuming than email and a lot more fun.

  • Collaborative Recruiting Software

It’s important to make sure the recruiting software you are using makes it easy for your team to be aware of each other’s work and quickly share and comment with each other. Otherwise you run the risk of having multiple people contact the same candidate, or even worse, forgetting about them. Collaborative recruiting software will save you time and help your team to work together more effectively.

Shameless Plug – We built Hello Talent with collaborative recruiting in mind. Create your free account today!

Individual Specialization

In each of the Ocean’s films the teams are able to do the impossible because each member has a unique set of skills. By focusing on their specialty, they are able to allow the other team members to focus on what they are good at. In your recruiting teams you will probably find that your team members have unique skills you should be leveraging as well.

For instance, someone who is more creative should be leveraged for crafting job descriptions and cold emails, while you could take your most charismatic team member and let her focus on phone screening and initial face-to-face interviews.  Specialization allows you to get the most out of your people while also compensating for their shortcomings.


Recruiting isn’t as difficult as robbing a large casino or a highly secure bank vault, but it can sometimes feel like it. To make things easier take a look at your recruiting team and assess how you can reduce individual work and increase teamwork. A great place to start is by creating a shared vision, encouraging constant communication, and allowing individuals to focus on their specialties. Doing this probably won’t help you to score millions of dollars, but it will score you lots of happy hires.