I have a project on the back-burner that looks at the way that recruitment and selection (and leadership) is portrayed in the cinema. My interest in this subject was by the realisation that about a quarter of films include scenes (or references) to recruitment and selection. In Australia, 70% of the population go to the cinema at least once every year and the average person goes 7 times. With these statistics, it seems likely that the way that recruitment and selection is in film will create an unconscious set of expectations about the way in which organisational entry should be conducted. They may contribute to our hopes and fears and thereby shape our behaviour when we come to apply for jobs or interview the people that do.

The initial phase of this study is to view and analyse the way organisational entry is depicted in a large range of films. To this end, I have created a database including all of the following:

  • Winners of the Best Picture at the Oscars
  • Winners of the Palme D'Or at Cannes
  • Channel 4's 100 Greatest Films of all-time (looking back from 1999)
  • Halliwell's Four Star Films
  • Halliwell's Three Star Films (since 1999)
  • IMDb's Top 250 Films

By limiting my analysis to these films, I hope to remove personal bias in the selection of films and also focus on the good, the great, the most popular, and the most enduring films that people watch again and again. I have made good progress through this database and have about 25% to go.