7 Movies – Every HR Professional Should watch – Go on Binge this weekend :)

Dear HR Professionals, ITS FRIDAY.

Dealing with human created chaos at work, managing leaves, remuneration and allowances, interviewing people, hiring and firing, grievance handling, fighting for budget, maintaining discipline, organizing expeditions, scheduling team games, coordinating training programs, managing people etc . This all makes one tired, really tired, extremely exhausted and funnily bored too and we get that. So for my Fellow HR Professionals, I have listed 7 amazing movies, which will not only help them make some amazing moves on the job but will also entertain them. Who said we are boring anyways? These are few of the highly entertaining movies and all have a beautiful learning/message for us HR professionals.


7)   Lagaan – 2001 – Amir Khan and Gracy Singh

“Let me remind you all of one thing: this is not a game we are playing for fun and entertainment – this is a fight we must win'”

Last in the list but not least. Why on the list? Every player of Bhuvan’s team was unique. They were all different and not skilled in cricket except one sikh player. Under little guidance from Elizabeth and team leadership from Bhuvan, they develop a team of losers which ultimately wins the game. How? Right skill mapping. The aggressive man uses his aggression on ball, instead of bat. The crippled man(kachra) uses his twisted hand for a perfect swing to the ball. The unusual funny action of bowling of a bowler costs the opposite team two wickets. So that’s what skill mapping is all about. Forgetting the flaws and channelizing the skills in right direction and making them work for the united goal. They all played in their flawed and unskilled ways as per the standards but they won because their little skills were also channelized and mapped properly by the Manager – Bhuvan. So be Bhuvan .


6)   Rocket Singh – 2009 – Ranbeer Kapoor

“Every person has two qualities in him. The one that takes him above, and the one that takes him below. He lives the kind of life offered to him by the quality that wins in the end”

On well deserved Number 6, I binge on Rocket Singh, for few its about entrepreneurship, for me its about fetching the right talent. Harpreet Singh Bedi has an idea and to execute that, he hires a team. Who does he hire? His present company’s employees including a receptionist and a peon. These four people join him readily. Why? Not because he has a plush office, not because he is handsome, not because he is offering partnership too, but, because he has a vision. There are people who join visions, not companies and they stay longer. This movie gives a strong message to HR professionals of SME’s or Start ups to make people join for the vision of the company and not for the bean bags and free food. That will be smart hiring.


5) The Devil Wears Prada – 2006- Meryl streep and Anne Hathway.

“Do you know why I hired you? I always hire the same girl- stylish, slender, of course… worships the magazine. But so often, they turn out to be- I don’t know- disappointing and, um… stupid. So you, with that impressive resume and the big speech about your so-called work ethic- I, um- I thought you would be different. I said to myself, go ahead. Take a chance. Hire the smart, fat girl.”

Andy Sacs joins a fashion Magazine to earn experience in the highly famous fashion magazine as an assistant to Miranda, the demanding boss. Miranda chose her because she was different, not fit, not suitable, but just different. Andy thinks lowly of the fashion business they are in, but Miranda infuses the wisdom into her. With the help of a colleague, Andy transformed herself to fit that job and also started respecting her work more than ever which made her perform even better. This movie gives a beautiful message to HR professionals to look beyond Job Descriptions like Miranda did. To look beyond the resume and hire on the basis of learning capacity, growth aptitude, positive attitude and not just degree and experience. So a well earned number 5.

4) Do Ankhein Barah Hath – 1957 – Rajaram and Sandhya

Yes, you read it right. One of the best movies I have ever watched about human life, human relations and human management. The title itself talks about many hands but one vision. The protagonist Jailer Adinath took the challenge of rehabilitating six convicted murderers. All brutal, all non human like. He took them to a barren land and teaches them to cultivate it and make a living. Obviously, he faced challenges and got heartbroken too but never gave up on them. He used their murder weapons as their equipment. He used their anger on the field in the form of strength. The end result of highly sensible , gentle human beings was achieved because of one vision. Vision to create value out of human life. This movie portrays exemplary case of people management and change management. Even the worst of your resources can be the best, only if, they are trained well and given an opportunity. It also portrays how you must become one with your employees and not above or apart from them.

Its Black and white though, so those who do not like non color cinema, do not watch it. I love it though.


3)  The Intern – 2015 – Robert Di Niro and Anne Hathway

“How, in one generation, have men gone from guys like jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford to… take Ben, here? A dying breed. You know? Look and learn, boys. Because if you ask me, this is what cool is.”

Apart from being a highly entertaining movie, it also breaks the hiring stereotype of professionals. Ben is retired but highly active, energetic and willing to work. Jules hires him as an Intern (with regret) but expected nothing and plans to fire him because, who the hell wants a retired assistant. But Ben proves to be the best Assistant one could ever find, not only because of his expertise but also because of his wisdom and continuous support. Ben proves to be a highly valuable asset to the company and not only that, he also helped his other colleagues grow, by motivating and guiding them time to time. He proves himself. Jules (founder) values him as her best asset. This movie is a big message for many HR Professionals who never try and thing beyond the stereotypical hiring policies. It’s all about right skill and right attitude, this is what the movie portrays. Hiring with inhibitions only limits your pool.


 2) Up in the air – 2009 – George Clooney and Vera Farmiga

Alex Goran: He broke up with you over text message?
Ryan Bingham: That’s kind of like firing someone over the Internet.

My second favorite for two reasons. Reason 1 – It talks about human resource. Reason 2- It stars George Clooney ;). This movie talks about a Frequent Flyer Ryan who happens to be a consultant for companies who are downsizing, laying off valuable employees. He understands the value of people in an organization and believes in giving them the most horrible news of their departure personally and not through just an email or call. He was the best in industry. He was soon to be replaced by a fresh recruit who came up with a genius idea of cost cutting on downsizing project by simply firing these people on video calls. This movie to an extent makes one understand the role of HR manager in a company’s happiness, which is determined by its people’s happiness. Also, how , technology should never take over when it comes to human resources’ emotions, happiness and job satisfaction. Must watch to take something new back every time.


Moneyball – 2011 – Brad Pitt and Robin Wright

“It’s about getting things down to one number. Using the stats the way we read them, we’ll find value in players that no one else can see. People are overlooked for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws. Age, appearance, personality. Bill James and mathematics cut straight through that. Billy, of the 20,000 notable players for us to consider, I believe that there is a championship team of twenty-five people that we can afford, because everyone else in baseball undervalues them”

Always my favorite. Few call it a must watch for entrepreneurs (they are right too) but for me this movie is all about Skill Management and creating the right team on the basis of right skill mix. While everyone was vouching for the top rated players, who were stars of the field, highly expensive and proven performers, the protagonist, Billy Beane in association with an economist Peter, stick to the players with lesser popularity but the right skill set required for the overall performance of the team in much lesser cost. Of course it was against the stream, but it was the best choice. So when as HR professionals we look for top B schools, top certifications we must also, look for the right skill set required for the team to grow as whole and not just focusing on that particular asset. By the way, Billy Beane’s team won.

So all you cool HR’s out there, go ahead and watch. That’s the list. There are many more we can add, but these are my favorite. You can go ahead and add your favorites too but of course with a reason. Have a great weekend.

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