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  • Writer's pictureBlue Bull Recruitment

What lessons can we learn from the film Finding Forrester?

In the captivating film 'Finding Forrester,' starring the legendary Sean Connery, we embark on a journey that goes beyond writing and mentoring, delving into the realms of recruitment, workplace culture, and the challenges of diversity.

This heartwarming tale not only provides valuable insights into unleashing hidden talents but also sheds light on the impact of cultural biases and prejudices in the workplace.

Recognising Potential Beyond Appearances

One of the standout moments in the movie is when William Forrester, portrayed by Sean Connery, discovers Jamal Wallace breaking into his apartment. Instead of turning him in, Forrester sees potential in the young boy's writing and offers his guidance.

This serves as a reminder for Hiring Managers to look beyond initial impressions and see the untapped potential that might not be evident in a traditional interview setting.

Peer Pressure and Workplace Performance

Jamal's struggles with his identity and talent are made worse by the pressure and expectations of his friends. In the workplace, the impact of culture and peer pressure on performance is evident.

'Finding Forrester' prompts us to reflect on the importance of creating a supportive and inclusive environment that allows individuals to shine, irrespective of external influences.

Companies can learn from this by emphasising the importance of fostering a culture that encourages individuality and values diverse perspectives. By doing so, they can create an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable expressing their true potential without fear of judgment.

Diversity and Breaking Stereotypes

Jamal's journey is particularly poignant due to his status as one of the few men of color in a prestigious private school on a scholarship. The movie highlights the challenges faced when a workplace lacks diversity, and assumptions are made based on background, colour, and socioeconomic status.

Companies should take note of the importance of building diverse teams to harness a variety of perspectives and talents. 'Finding Forrester' serves as a stark reminder that preconceived notions and stereotypes can hinder the growth and success of individuals who possess unique skills and talents.

Confronting Prejudice and Assumptions

The movie eloquently portrays the prejudice and assumptions Jamal faces from his teachers due to his background. Despite excelling in his writing, he is doubted because of societal biases associated with his race and economic standing.

This challenges us to confront our own biases in the workplace and reassess our perceptions of colleagues based on merit rather than preconceived notions.

Recruiters and employers must actively work towards creating a fair and unbiased recruitment process, ensuring that opportunities are provided based on skills, talents, and potential rather than superficial judgments.

One of my favourite quotes in this film is from William:

"Why is it the words we write for ourselves are always so much better than the words we write for others"


'Finding Forrester' is more than just a story of mentorship and writing; it's a powerful story that provides valuable recruitment lessons.

By recognising potential beyond appearances, understanding the impact of culture and peer pressure on performance, prioritising diversity, and confronting prejudice and assumptions, companies can create workplaces where every individual has the opportunity to shine.

So, as we watch this inspiring tale unfold, let's take these lessons to heart and strive to unlock the hidden potential within our own organisations.

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