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Hiring Lessons From a Galaxy Far, Far Away

J.J Abrams and Disney have all but assured that every mind in the world is back to thinking about adventures happening a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, HR Pros are no different. In fact, most pros probably have their tickets already! Yet when held under the microscope of HR topics, Star Wars can provide some extremely valuable hiring lessons to every HR pro, from master to Padawan. So strap yourselves in, we’re gonna make the jump to lightspeed and lay out some of the most obvious lessons on hiring from Star Wars (the original trilogy, no one wants to remember that the prequels exist).


No Disintegration



Getting the right person for the job can be difficult, so difficult in fact that 80% of employee turnover can be attributed to bad hiring decisions. One of the easiest ways to make sure you hire the right person for the job is to leave nothing unsaid on the job posting or in the interview. You know exactly what you need and what you expect, and if you lay it out to your candidates from the get go you’ll find it easier to find the right person.

This is one of those rare instances where you can learn from Lord Vader. When hiring a group of bounty hunters to track down the Millennium Falcon he made the requirements for the jobs very clear.

There will be a substantial reward for the one who finds the Millennium Falcon. You are free to use any methods necessary, but I want them alive. No disintegrations.”

With these requirements known, Bobba Fett was able to do his job properly, and while IG-88, Bossk, Dengar, Zuckuss and 4Lom (the other bounty hunters on the Executor at the time of the meeting) failed to locate the Millennium Falcon and deliver it to the Empire they knew what would have been expected of them. That’s some stellar job posting from Lord Vader!


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Luminous Beings Are We



When reviewing candidates, it can be incredibly easy to get caught up on what is on the paper, to look only at the years of experience they have in the field. When “seeking someone with 7 years of experience” is listed and a candidate has only 5 years of experience, it can be a knee-jerk reaction to dismiss this candidate. Before tossing out their resume, try to remember the words of the wisest Jedi master to ever live, “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”

Yoda was saying that the strength of the flesh doesn’t matter when compared to the strength of the force, that there is more to everyone than what meets the eye, and the same is true of candidates applying for a position. The numbers on a piece of paper are not the only thing that matters, potential is the greatest hiring parameter there is!


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There Will Be No Bargain Young Jedi



As the economy continues its upward climb negotiating salaries continues to be a growing trend, everyone wants to get more money, right? And it might make recruiters a bit wary, you can’t go over the budget given for the position, right? Well, it’s important to remember that being open to the possibility of negotiating salary can be the key to hiring the top talent.

This is where a lesson can be learned from intergalactic Hutt crime boss, Jabba The Hutt. When Jabba was approached by a bounty hunter who brought him the mighty Chewbacca and demanded a higher bounty than was promised while holding a thermal detonator. Jabba was amused and willing to negotiate the price. Jabba understood that good work can sometimes call for a higher paycheck and that shelling out the extra dough can keep people working for you, and keep you from being killed by a thermal detonator, of course.


When you hire for any position you face some challenges and many of them aren’t as easy as bulls eyeing a whomp rat in your T16 back home. That’s why it’s important to take a moment and learn something from these classic movies. If you follow this advice, your hiring can become more powerful than you could ever imagine! As always, may the force be with you.