What HR can learn from the Wolf of Wall Street

by HCA28 Feb 2014
His wickedly indulgent lifestyle of lavish parties, illicit drugs, call girls and excessive wealth inspired the blockbuster film The Wolf of Wall Street. But according to former trader Jordan Belfort, his well-honed tactics – which saw him earn $50 million a year on the stockmarket, before his drug addiction spiralled out of control – could help recruiters to evaluate candidates before they’ve finished answering their first interview question.
According to Belfort, his strategies, which form his now-famous Straight Line System, can be useful for anyone in any industry. There are valuable lessons for HR, for instance, surrounding our ability to get to the bottom of a potential candidate’s real competency within minutes of meeting.
"There's the truth about what you do and your level of expertise, and then there's also how you're able to communicate what you do to other people,” Belfort said in a recent media interview.
"In the end it always comes down to your ability to communicate your product, your ideas and your vision for the future – and to get someone to buy into that with either their time or their money.
As a result, HR directors can be won over by smooth talkers who ultimately over-promise and under-deliver. This makes it that much more important for HR to develop strategies to cut through the ‘charisma factor’ in order to gain a real understanding of the candidate’s genuine skills and expertise.
This includes taking notice of the candidate’s tone and pace during the conversation. "It's about tonality and body language… certain tones are pleasing to the ear and imply certainty about what is being saying,” Belfort said.
Interviewees should also be clear about the value they would bring to the role. “Number one is the value of the product, which is [the candidate], and both the job they're doing now and what they can do for the company over the long term,” he said.


Most Read