What Wonder Woman Can Teach Us About Hiring

July 10, 2017
In it's own way, the movie
In it's own way, the movie "Wonder Woman" has a lot to say about gender, teamwork and training.

There's no denying the success of the movie "Wonder Woman." Starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, the film is one of DC's biggest hits and a major fan favorite. It contains takeaways for everyone - superhero lovers, history buffs and yes, even hiring managers. Here are three feature-film worthy lessons to take from this box-office hit: 

1. Gender bias has no place in 2017

"Wonder Woman" was arguably the most highly anticipated superhero movie of the summer. Its titular character Diana Prince proves that if women are given the chance to succeed, they can be just as exemplary as their male counterparts. Best of all, this concept isn't limited to the fictional universe. According to Entertainment Weekly, "Wonder Woman" made over $330.5 million after just one month in theaters, beating the male-led "Batman v. Superman's" total of nearly $330.4 million. If there's one idea you should bring from the theater to the workplace, it's that there's no reason to believe your female candidates are any less capable than your male ones.

Unfortunately, if closing the gender gap was as easy as recognizing it, every business would be a utopia of equality. Unconscious bias affects even the best of us, and hiring managers in particular must actively work to combat it. The Harvard Business Review listed several handy steps for doing so, including:

  • Undergoing training to become aware of biases.
  • Rewording job descriptions to be more inclusive of people of different backgrounds.
  • Providing work sample tests to see a candidate's qualifications.
  • Setting goals for diversity.

The more you apply this advice, the easier it is to reduce unconscious bias and hire people truly suited for the job.

2. Creating a cohesive culture is easy if you share goals

Diana doesn't win her battle with the help of her fellow Amazons. Rather, her accomplices are from several different backgrounds. Her main helper and love interest, Captain Steve Trevor, is an American pilot who recruits three others: the actor-turned-spy Sameer, the Native American smuggler Chief and the trauma-afflicted marksman Charlie.

Despite their diverse backgrounds, these five eccentric characters worked incredibly well together. In fact, it is their individual specialties that allowed them to succeed. What's more, they teamed up with virtual ease, indicating that creating a collaborative workplace culture isn't as hard as you might think.

"Having the same objective unites your staff."

What united Diana's team was a shared goal, something her friends believed in and were willing to put their all into. The same is true of a business. Having the same objective unites your staff, helping them think both collaboratively and creatively. Instead of being divided by their differences, they apply their individual talents to accomplish the task at hand.

3. Great onboarding makes for a heroic team

Knowing Diana would ultimately face the god of war, the fierce General Antiope trained her to be the toughest warrior of the Amazons. Your employees might not have studied to save the world since birth, but you should adopt Antiope's mindset and prepare them as best you can for any adversity they might face.

To develop your onboarding program, The Society for Human Resource Management recommended the ADDIE model. This stands for assessment, design, development, implementation and evaluation. First, assess what your new hire needs to take away from the program, then create the necessary materials to help them achieve their goals. Next, develop the program so the training flows naturally and coherently. Finally, put it into action and evaluate the results. If your new hires aren't as prepared as you need them to be, go back to the design step.

"Wonder Woman" was a great summer movie, but it was also a catalyst to think critically about the way we approach other people in the work place. Combating bias, creating culture and developing new hires should be priorities for any and all hiring managers.

Topics: Human Resources