Monday, August 20, 2007

Jason Bourne: The Ultimate Assassin...from an HR Pespective

Any Jason Bourne fans out there?

My wife and I celebrated our recent wedding anniversary by seeing The Bourne Ultimatum on August 5th.'s an amazing movie.

I've put my HR hat on and thought what it would be like if Jason were an Assassin for the company I work for - this is obviously a hypothetical example so let's just assume for a few minutes that I really have an Assassin on my payroll.

How do you think you or your company would handle these HR or related areas - keeping an Assassin in mind?

Recruiting and Job Postings. So, where do you find someone that wants to be and is qualified to be an Assassin? Which works better - an on-line job board like Monster or a local ad in the newspaper? How about a referral bonus? I found this site, G.I.'s probably a great place to start.

Pre-Employment Testing. For those of you that have seen the most recent Bourne movie, you are given a glimpse of all that he went through to become an Assassin. Can we say psychological testing to the extreme? I'm sure he also had to have quite a few former superiors and co-workers vouch for how he handled himself in stressful situations. How many hours do you think he spent being interviewed? Was behavioral interviewing utilized?

Performance. What's your take? Is Jason an Exceeds or Meets? (Or, for those of you with a five point scale is he an Outstanding or Exceeds?) My gut tells me that he's probably the best there has ever been...a "legend" around the office. How is he evaluated or what are his metrics? How many "assignments" have to be completed per week or month? Are there incentives for completing "assignments" quickly while keeping within the budget?

Expense Reports and Receipts. How timely do you think Jason is in making sure he submits his expense reports before the payroll deadline so that he can pay off his American Express with the reimbursement he receives in his paycheck? Or, do you think someone in "corporate" always make sure these are handled in a timely manner? Also, do you think he always has a receipt to show for every purchase? For someone with this type of demanding work schedule I'm sure he's got an unlimited limit on his AMEX and never has to worry about an expense report or receipt.

Retention. When you notice turnover among your Assassins what are some of the things you put in place to keep Assassins alert, motivated, and eager to do their job better and better? Spot bonuses for a job well done? How about shares of ownership in the company? Diverse assignments from one part of the world to another? Company picnic or pizza party?

Employee Assistance Program (EAP). What do you offer Assassins when the job becomes more than they can handle? What about their work/life balance? Now, I have to ask, is work/life balance even possible in this job? Probably not.

Just some HR related thoughts and topics for you to consider as you watch the's a clip to give you a taste...