5 festive films and their secret recruitment lessons

Yes, you read that right. If you look closely, there are various lessons we can learn from the most festive of films that’ll help candidates, companies and recruiters alike.

Santa Clause

Whilst with his son on Christmas Eve divorced Dad, Scott accidentally kills Santa. As a result, they are transported to the North Pole, where an elf explains that Scott must take Santa’s place before the next Christmas.

Obviously, Scott thinks this is all a dream, but as the months progress, he becomes more and more like the bearded man himself.

Although unsure and scared at first. Scott eventually embraces and thrives in his role as Santa Clause (reaffirmed by 2 sequels & the latest Disney+ series).

The Lessons:

Sometimes you have no choice but to make a career move. Whether it’s down to finances, family, or relocation (all far more likely than accidentally killing Santa!). 

If this is the case, don’t try and fight it like Scott. Instead, reach out to experts who’ll provide you with guidance; experts like us! We’re the recruiters who will be right by your side from your initial application to the time you’re settling into your new role.

But don’t be like Scott in Santa Clause 2. Avoid unwelcome surprises, and be sure to read your contract thoroughly once you get that offer.


Jesper Johansen has relied on nepotism for far too long. After proving himself to be the worst student at the postal academy, his father sends him away to be a postman in a remote frozen town in the North. This is where he discovers a reclusive toymaker named Klaus.

The Lessons:

You can’t rely solely on connections to get the job of your dreams. It doesn’t get you as far as you might think. You need to be able to prove your capabilities, and demonstrate your value, particularly at the interview stage.  Following the STARV technique will help you show any new employer that you’ve got what it takes.


Buddy the Elf has mountains of positive energy. But, he also tends to go overboard(My favourite moment is his redecoration of the store!). But regardless of this, Buddy’s optimism proves to win out by the end of the film, with him and his father writing a successful children’s book about his adventures.

The lesson: 

Enthusiasm is essential for both candidates and companies. People like to feel wanted. And companies want to know that you want to be there. Although Buddy’s attitude to life is infectious, it’s equally as important to find a balance between being overtly positive and coming across as disengaged, both candidate and interviewer should want to appear supportive and welcoming on both sides of the interview table.

Home Alone

A classic holiday film! Unaware they’ve left Kevin behind, his family jets off to Paris for Christmas, leaving the 8-year-old home alone.


An 8-year-old alone at home is challenging enough, but things get even stickier for Kevin when burgling duo ‘the wet bandits‘, Marv & Harry decide to target the McCallister home. But what they thought would be an easy heist ‘Merry Christmas little fella, We know that you’re in there and that you’re all alone.’) becomes their downfall. Kevin protects the house with all manner of tricks and succeeds in baffling the robbers, striking some of the most iconic and comedic pranks in any heist film to date (Katie’s favourite is the hot iron striking Marv’s forehead)

The lesson: 

Never underestimate people. Whether young or old, don’t discount someone based on arbitrary factors such as age. It will only limit your talent pool and those who are more open-minded will snatch this talent up!


The Nightmare Before Christmas 

The film fuses two of my favourite holidays! Jack Skellington grows bored of the monotony of Halloween and instead embarks on a new path, trying out the role of Santa instead (having three minions kidnap the real one!). Inspired by Christmas land, he takes on the Christmas holiday but finds it more complex than he initially expected.

The Lessons:

There are a few lessons in this one.

Firstly, keep an eye out for signs that it might be time to move on in your career. Maybe you’ve lost the joy you once had in your role, your duties becoming monotonous, and you no longer feel challenged. Take those signs as an indicator to start thinking about finding a new opportunity that brings back your spark (we can certainly help there!)

Secondly, don’t be discouraged when a change in career doesn’t turn out as you expected. Change isn’t always easy and adjustment can seem like a struggle, but don’t make rash decisions, give it time. If you realise it wasn’t for you in the end, at least you can say you gave it your best shot.

Thirdly, make sure you do your research. You should get to know who you’re hiring, and who you’re working for! People can often wear ‘masks’ and come across differently on paper, or during an interview. Be all-knowing and check them out online.


I bet when you began to read this blog, you were wondering where I was going to go with it, but you really can gain recruitment knowledge from the unlikeliest of places!

All of us at Harvey John hope you have a happy holiday and a great new year….

Alex Louise is a member of the Operations team at Harvey John.

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