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What Hocus Pocus Teaches Us About Hiring Myths

Posted by James Patrick Kahler on October 30, 2015

HocusPocusThere are many lessons to be learned from great movies. “Forrest Gump” showed us that kindness and honesty goes a long way, “The Shawshank Redemption” inspired us to never give up hope and “The Departed” taught us that Mark Wahlberg can act.

Yet the most important lesson we can learn from any movie in motion picture history comes from one of the best: “Hocus Pocus.”

Yes, Disney’s 1993 smash hit (according to myself…it did ok in the box office at the time) “Hocus Pocus” proves to us that certain hiring myths are indeed false, as well as teaches us special lessons about the hiring process. You may have never thought that “Hocus Pocus” had these underlying messages with regards to hiring, but it’s true.

If you’re currently in the process of interviewing candidates, check out these typical hiring myths that the film exposes; they could save you from making a poor hiring decision.

Three Hiring Myths That “Hocus Pocus” Debunks

(Spoiler Alert! If you hate awesome movies and have never seen this movie, watch it before further reading or you can read the plot here.)

1.) A candidate’s employment history says a lot about their loyalty.

That’s not always true. People tend to think that if a candidate has a long history of “job-jumping” or has worked at several other companies over a relatively short period of time, means that they won’t be loyal to their company. That is false.

Here’s an example:

In “Hocus Pocus,” Thackery Binx went from just a normal teenager in 1693 one day to being cursed, losing his sister to witches and turned into an immortal cat for 300 years. Talk about a history! While he must have seen his fair share of teenage punks over the years, yet he stayed loyal to his new friends Max, Dani and Allison—helping them during their quest to end the reign of evil from the Sanderson sisters. 

So it’s similar to the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover.” All it takes is the right match and a candidate’s loyalty may come to surprise you.

2.) Don’t hire candidates without related work experience.

False. While this might be true for specific jobs (like a rocket scientist), it isn’t true for most. It’s more important to hire a candidate with good character, rather than just skill. You can always train someone to develop the skills to get the job done, but not the other way around.


Max Dennison didn’t have much experience in life, yet alone in Salem, Massachusetts—his new hometown. He was an innocent teenager, living a comfortable life in the suburbs until he made the mistake of lighting the black-flame candle that brought the Sanderson sisters back to life. So the kid had zero experience, like anyone else would for that matter, handling the job of killing off three, 300-year-old witches.

However, that never fazed young Max. He managed to get the job done and save his little sister, Dani, as well as pretty much everyone else. Similar to training someone to get the job done, just because a candidate doesn’t have the exact work-related experience you might be looking for, don’t write that candidate off. If you like a candidate for his or her passion, attitude, personality, etc., then give that candidate a fair chance. 

3.) Reference checks aren’t worth the hassle.

This is so false, it’s mind blowing to think that a hiring manager could ever think this to be true. Performing reference checks is one of the smartest things you can do during the hiring process, and there’s an easy way to do so. It’s always safe and smart to get to know your job candidate a little better before you choose to hire him or her.


If only Max would have paid attention and fully listened to the story of the Sanderson sisters in class, he would have never lit the black-flamed candle. Both Dani and Allison did their due diligence before entering the old Sanderson house on Halloween night, so clearly they knew better than to light that candle.

Performing reference and background checks is like doing your homework before a test. Don’t be like Max. Do your research before you hire a candidate.

If you haven’t yet seen “Hocus Pocus,” do yourself a favor and watch it this weekend. It’ll change your life for the better as well as make you a stronger hiring manager.

Whether you’re heading to a party or taking your kids trick-or-treating this weekend, Hireology wishes you all a fun and safe Halloween!

Check out our complimentary eBook below to see more hiring myths debunked.

hiring myths, hiring help

Reference Checks, How to Hire, Hiring Tips, Hiring

James Patrick Kahler

About the Author

James Patrick Kahler is Hireology’s Copywriter & Content Specialist. He is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and has over four years of professional experience writing for various industries. Outside of the office (and sometimes inside), he has a passion for comedy, advertising and his Cleveland sports teams…all of them.