The literature world was in a frenzy in February as JK Rowling announced a new addition to the Harry Potter series.

One of the most successful stories in history, the new book has already leapt to the top of the best seller list. If that wasn’t enough, it’s worth noting that the book is also not anticipated to hit the shelves until July.

With millions of fans around the world, eight films and even a theme park, Harry Potter is a global phenomenon. So what can this tell us about engagement? Could it be the greatest recruitment and retention strategy of all time?

Delving a little deeper it’s easy to uncover the magic behind its success and potential for our organisations. 

It’s grown with its readers

First published in 1997 and initially considered a children’s novel, Harry Potter tells the story of an eleven-year-old boy.  It’s spanned more than 10 years however, meaning most of Harry Potter’s first readers were probably at least in their early 20s by the time the series reached its finale. 

But as Harry Potter fans aged and matured, so did the characters, and therein lies the first secret.

Today’s employees are looking for companies which grow with them, understand their challenges and support their aspirations. As they face highlights, and the inevitable lowlights, they need an organisation which adapts and matures to their needs.

Appeals to all ages

With a vast array of unique characters, Harry Potter appeals to just about everyone, from school-aged children to parents and even grandparents.  An organisation which is flexible to everyone and supports employees of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles will reap the rewards of a broad recruitment talent pool and employees who are committed, enthusiastic and loyal.

A story of stories

While each Harry Potter book tells a new tale of adventure, the learnings, lessons and experiences from previous stories remain and grow throughout.  For our employees and potential recruits, understanding their story and learning from their experiences enables us to create the best environment for everyone.  A sense of common purpose, created by a shared mission and positive culture, is key in driving morale and success.

A world not unlike our own

While Harry Potter is a fictional world, it’s a world not unlike our own. It encompasses many milestones in our lives and reminds us of our own experiences.   As organisations, we have the opportunity to create a culture and environment in which employees are engaged and able to bring their whole selves to work - feeling very much at home.

 “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”