Recruitment X Factor… or Recruitment’s Got Talent… or…

My wife makes me watch some real crap on TV… ok, let me re-phrase that. On occasion I lose control of the television remote, and instead of choosing to do something else, like… exercising… mucking around with the kids… playing stalk the ex on twitter… etc… I stay on the couch and immerse myself in whatever is on – and usually, it’s crap!

CrapTV1Now please, don’t get me wrong – a healthy dose of crap TV is a great stress relief. A little bit of Beauty & The Geek, Come Dine With Me or even The Only Way is Essex helps make us all feel a little better about ourselves right?

But what about this over-saturation (is that even a real word?) of talent shows??? The Australia’s, or Britain’s or America’s, or Manu Province Papua New Guinea’s Got Talent… X-Factor… The Voice… Idol… I could go on…

These shows – and the fact that I have no real blog topic this week – got me thinking about talent in our (that’s recruitment) industry…

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (highly uncomfortable, and lets in a nasty draft during winter…), you would be aware that we  – as recruiters – are members of a much maligned and misunderstood industry.

We are forever the butt of abuse from candidates… ‘I never hear back from recruiters when I apply for jobs’ (as an aside – a long aside, but an aside nonetheless – I received an application from a candidate yesterday for a Management Role – where I was specific in required experience… a number of years in the niche, measurable commercial/agency recruitment success, existing professional network, tertiary qualified etc… This applicant? Had only one job since leaving high school in grade 10… three years as a freelance rap dancing instructor. Now, I am supposed to take time out to respond to this applicant as to why they are not a right fit for the role??? Seriously, they can moonwalk over and kiss my..).

Anyway, you get the picture… candidates who aren’t successful often have an axe to grind with the recruiter. Similarly, the client often sees us as a ‘necessary evil’ but conveniently ignores the value our industry can provide their business, as a ‘trusted advisor’, or ‘strategic partner’.

craptv2So, what if we could hi-jack a major TV network and put on a series such as Recruitment Voice… Recruitment X Factor… or Recruitment’s Got Talent? No, seriously… work with me here, it’s not as stupid as it sounds… (*Disclaimer – before I continue I realise there have been a few unsuccessful attempts at Recruitment TV shows…Top Recruiter, The Headhuntress, to name a couple, but I am talking about something much, much bigger.).

A captive audience, a panel of high profile recruiters as judges… and the contestants are candidates! Brilliant right? We could start with blind interviews – where the recruiters (judges) backs are turned, so contestants (candidates) are not judged initially on appearance or presentation. The judges could shortlist candidates into teams, then battle over behavioural interviews, personality assessments and business plan presentations… Over a series of weeks each judge (recruiter) whittles down their team and their shortlist interviews live in front of the Client. On the grand final, referees are invited on live to give their reference checks live to camera… the audience at home can sms, or vote online… then the winner is announced.

What absorbing, high rating, adrenalin pumping TV right?… no… what crap!


Point is, we as recruiters are never going to get the opportunity to let the wider television audience know the value we provide day in, day out. Our reputation is going to continue to be moulded by our interactions every day with clients and candidates. We do make mistakes, we do get lazy and sometimes we do get selfish… Make a promise to yourself that you will try to make a few less mistakes, be less lazy and above all to not be selfish. By doing so you will become a better recruiter, and you will help to rub off a little of the stigma that tarnishes the silver fabric of our great industry…


Craig Watson


One thought on “Recruitment X Factor… or Recruitment’s Got Talent… or…

  1. DK on Reply

    Hahahaha, another great blog Craig. A freelance rap dancing instructor – surely a ‘walking placement’!?!?!?! I almost fell off my chair laughing reading your advice on what they can do to get feedback. 90% of advert responses are completely irrelevant to role despite writing a specific and crystal clear advert stating must haves. Why on earth do they waste their own time let alone ours? I had one just yesterday, looking for a quality manager, $100k+ role, International business, candidates current role, cashier/customer service at a well known pizza delivery firm! Needless to say I shortlisted them….

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