Best hiring practices - Dream a little bigger

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Posted by Joel Capperella

June 3, 2013

I’m a Christopher Nolan fan.  I love the Batman trilogy, and Inception is probably one of my top ten favorite movies.  So when Movieclips.com was showcasing Nolan’s work, I decided I’d turn to his artistry for some workforce related inspiration.  After all, Inception is, at its heart, a story about a well created team of talent focused on achieving a very specific objective.  The team that Cobb put together truly was the result of following some best hiring practices.

Tom Hardy’s Eames states it perfectly to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Arthur, “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.”   Perfect advice for developing best hiring practices. Especially if executed in a manner that recognizes the importance of the immediate actions that the Arthurs of the world are ready to take before that dreaming begins.


Consider these Inception-inspired three best hiring practice tips to ensure your biggest talent dreams are realized.

Creatively source based upon situation not urgency

Consider the situation that Eames is addressing.  The team is surprised by a weapon-ized dream security force, and they are so heavily medicated that dying in the dream is not the typical escape that they are accustom to.   Therefore, they have to stay and fight in order to not only meet their objective but do so and remain among the sanely living.   This urgency leads Arthur to forget that the dream world is one that they constructed and can manipulate.  Eames, however, takes a moment to consider every environmental factor at his disposal.

The best hiring practices take awayConsider the reality of all internal and external environmental, economic, and related industry factors in order to craft a creative plan of attack to source the right candidates.

Address Talent Demand Urgency with Immediate Actions

Is Arthur’s failure to consider one single set of circumstances actually a failure?  Not at all, the situation was dire and he addressed it immediately as best he could.   In fact, it could imply that Arthur’s swift response to defend the team from the security force gave Eames the time he needed to dream bigger.  Had Arthur not reacted to the urgency the entire dream team could have quickly ended up in limbo.

The best hiring practices take away:  Run environmental analysis in parallel with immediate actions that move sourcing forward in a way that will help to address the most urgent talent demands.

Create a collaborative hiring culture of shared responsibility

Ultimately, both Arthur and Eames are responsible for securing the team’s safety, and it should be noted here that Arthur is not at all threatened by the creative approach that Eames brings to the table.  This is exactly what hiring needs to look like within organizations.  It cannot be an isolated list of responsibilities that are not shared among the individuals responsible for execution.  There can be no unreasonable sense of ownership by any one group.  Sourcing and recruiting is a collaborative effort that only works well when the hiring manager works closely with the recruiter, for example, and this collaboration must be completely ordered to the objective of getting the right person in the right job.

The best hiring practices take away:  Eliminate silos of execution to create a hiring culture oriented towards collaboratively defining the nuance of the talent demand against the key strategy and tactics the new hire is expected to contribute to. 

As I mentioned in the beginning, Inception is the quintessential “talent acquisition” drama, so it is not surprising that we’d find some best hiring practices revealed as the plot progresses.  Arthur and Eames are critical members of this honest to goodness dream team, and their collaborative creativity leads to success.  What are you doing to foster this sort of creativity in a way that helps you improve your best hiring practices?

Hiring Managers Guide to IT Staffing


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