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A headhunter on the movie Headhunters

As I finish my gruelling day job of headhunting, I like to unwind by watching movies about headhunting.

When I heard that Headhunters was coming out, I thought great! Finally a movie about our industry with the potential to offer a realistic warts and all portrayal of what we do day to day. A movie in a similar vein to:

  • The Devil Wears Prada (fashion)
  • Margin Call (investment banking)
  • Up in the Air (corporate downsizing)


Needless to say the movie left me a bit wide-eyed. All-in-all, it is an enjoyable light-hearted thriller, adapted from the book written by the excellent Jo Nesbo.  No spoiler alerts here – the movie details the life of Roger Brown, a successful headhunter who leads a double-life of recruitment and crime. The movie depicts some aspects of a recruiter’s role well; we do experience extreme highs and lows as well as constantly needing to think outside of the box.

There are a few take-away points that I was able to extract from the movie.

Roger shows a Terminator-like level of determination and focus, his will to win and be successful against a never-ending series of twists and turns is admirable. He gets repeatedly knocked down, however picks himself up again time after time and keeps on going. In life you need to be adaptable and have the ability to roll with the punches, if ‘life gives you lemons make lemonade'. Look forward, ignore distractions and never lose sight of your goals.

Mr Brown uses his interviewing skills and takes time to understand not only his candidates' work experience but also their interests and life outside of work. A good headhunter will seek to build a long term relationship with their business partners rather than simply offering a transactional service of ‘job-matching Image and reputation is also critical to Roger – be the person you want to be and project that image externally. In order to be successful, personal branding is crucial. Roger’s reputation within the executive search industry in Oslo is of utmost importance to him, he will do anything to protect and uphold his reputation both in the corporate world and in his personal life. Until next time!

  • Sep 28, 2012
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Morgan McKinley

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