There’s a new TV show about recruitment. Actually, that’s not technically true.
It’s not technically on TV. It’s on YouTube.
If you haven’t seen it, just google something similar to the title of this article and you’ll find it. I’m not including a link. I’m better than that. Plus I like you too much.
Anyway, let’s just say, it’s not the ‘TV programme’ I’d have done about recruiters.
What would I have done? Glad you asked…
Firstly, instead of YouTube, I’d have commissioned the same people who brought out Battle Royale (think Hunger Games but more convincing deaths).
Then, I’d make the competition ultimately an every-man-for-himself, all out war. One Recruiter can win, but teamwork’s needed until the finale.
It starts with Contingency Vs Retained. Agency Recruitment Vs Executive Search. The ambulance chasers against the pompous. The grafters vs the educated.
For the first part of the programme, Executive Search are able to watch Contingency’s battle from a high balcony. They’re given Roman treats like wine, grapes, meat on the bone and jesters (contingency Resourcers balancing things on their nose and performing slapstick comedy).
John Anderson (from Gladiators fame) is wheeled back into the spotlight and starts the contest.
Executive Search meekly clap from the balcony, careful not to look too enthused.
The Contingency Recruiters then take part in a Total Wipeout style assault course trying to get CVs from their desk to the hiring manager. Battling, on their way, Gladiatorial Gatekeepers (GKs), armed to the teeth and built like brick sh*t houses.
Yes, the big balls provide a spot of light relief, but below the funny inflatable platform are 200 crocodiles baying for flesh. If you get knocked off, you’re toast. If the crocodiles don’t get you, the sub zero conditions will.
If by some miracle you manage to stay on, GKs have full licence to kill. Their main weapon being a Garrote fabricated from a headset cable.
Each killing is made to the sound of apathetic applause from the balcony.
The contingency competition ends when one Recruiter has completed the course with a CV suitable for the job. Only, because of the distance between you and the hiring manager, the type of CV they need is absolute guesswork.
As an added bonus for viewers and unbeknown to the competitors, if (at the end of the level) the CV arrives in the wrong font, you’re beheaded live on TV. But you can choose which Executive Search Headhunter puts you in the guillotine.
There are hidden challenges throughout. For example, certain CV keywords will mean your family benefits after your ‘departure’ from the show. “Fantastic” gets your partner a speed boat. “Team player” gets a 2 week family holiday at Disney (Paris not Florida). And “Dynamic” gives your partner a free year’s subscription on Match.com.
For the second part of the programme, the one winner from Contingency is invited up to the balcony to view the competition. They’re allowed a chair, but it’s uncomfortable, slightly smaller than everyone else’s and squeaks relentlessly.
Now, as Executive Search is better than contingency (apparently) they have a different event.
Instead of paper CVs, they have to physically manoeuvre a ‘longlist’ of candidates from one side of a paintball arena to another. For dramatic effect, the arena is made to look like post-apocalyptic London. Filmed in modern day Hull.
Disgruntled candidates are in charge of the paintball guns and can fire at will. Only, instead of paintballs, they have real bullets. Obviously.
Through natural selection, and some pretty sharp shooting, the longlists naturally become shortlists until only one bloodied and war-hardened Executive Search Consultant is left victorious.
The final Contingency Recruiter can applaud at this point if they so wish, but the balcony’s just too high for them to see anything going on.
So, it’s the final round. And there are two finalists.
The winner from Exec Search is pitted head-to-head against the top contingency Recruiter in a battle to the death, in complete darkness – supposed to mirror the typical information gap on most placements. The audience can see the battle on infrared, the Recruiters can see nothing.
There are choices of weaponry, and each Consultant can choose any two (company branded) items from this list:
– Explosive Business Cards thrown like Ninja Stars
– Garotte from a headset cable
– Wooden handled umbrella with bayonette and noxious gas release
– Meeting folder shield that can stop explosive business cards
– Brown loafers with flick-knife extension
– Anthrax stress balls
– Bullet-proof three piece (T.M. Lewin) suit
The winner is quite simply the only one alive after the final event.
And the prize for that lucky winner is a six month trial period on the BBC PSL at 12.5% terms. After which a review will take place looking at CV to placement ratios in comparison to the internal team.
If the internal team have a higher percentage, the PSL status is revoked and a sniper is set loose in the city to carry out the final headhunt.
IF… the ratio is the same, or somehow better than the internal team, the Consultant is offered a job and replaces the worst ranking internal member who has the lowest calls made on average that week. All prior success is irrelevant. You’re only as good as your last week.
Or we could just leave Reality TV and recruitment as separate entities and get on with our lives.
Either way, really. I’ll leave it up to you.
Senior Recruitment Consultant at Signify Technology
Client Consultant - Early Careers Team at Freshminds
Recruitment Consultant - Isle of Man at Boston Link
Trainee Recruitment Consultant at Monarch Recruitment
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