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Top Recruiter – Hype or Reality?

Several months ago I got hooked on watching Top Recruiter: The Competition Miami.  For those of you who are not aware of the show, it is a web-based reality TV show that pits a group of recruiters against each other in team and individual based (recruiting) competitions.  Each episode, there is a recruiter selected as the individual winner of that week’s challenge.  There is also a viewer vote each week that goes towards establishing the overall winner of the competition.  The program is produced and developed by Lavoie Entertainment (Chris Lavoie) and also features several prominent members of the recruiting, human resources and HR technology industries such as Rayanne Thorn, Jer Langhans and Jessica Miller-Merrell .  They function as advisors to the recruiters and in some cases (as with Jessica) they are providing input into who gets chosen as the episode winner(s).

Top recruiter logo-homepageThere has been quite a bit of coverage and exposure of the show on social media and online in general.  There are some in industry that have spoken out (blogged) about the show, questioning the viewing numbers and also indicating that it doesn’t accurately represent the recruiting industry.  The show’s detractors have commented that it focuses too much on the monetary benefits of recruiting – that is, these elite recruiters all drink expensive champagne, drive Porsche’s and wear $3000 business suits.  So, to say the least, it has provided a bit of fodder for those of us in the industry.  When trying to figure out for yourself whether or not the show is all hype or in fact is reality, you need to go into it with your eyes wide open to what it is.  That is, it is a TV show that is meant to entertain and to a secondary degree, inform – not the other way around.  If recruiters and HR Pros watch Top Recruiter and expect it to look exactly like their everyday job(s) they will be disappointed!  Quite frankly, the last thing I would want to watch is a reality show that is filmed at my office!  So, the location of Miami and the Top Recruiter mansion are quite lavish and scenic – there is not doubting that.  But boy, do I enjoy seeing these locations and they make for a great backdrop to the show!

Now that we have established what to expect (it is a TV show and entertainment first) one can now formulate their opinion as to whether or not they think the show is in fact reality or just hype.  Personally, after having watched all of Seasons 1 and 2 and now the first two episodes of Season 3, I think the show does a great job overall of showcasing the recruiting profession.  Sure, some of the personalities are (portrayed) as being a bit over the top, but hey it is  television.  The challenges that they are put through are an accurate reflection of what top recruiters need to be able to do: source using the latest technologies, leverage social media, effectively network and establish credibility, find a candidate on short notice who possesses a unique skill set, interview and assess, pitch candidates on a client’s corporate employment brand, etc.  The recruiters are judged on their ability to be creative, innovative, think on their feet, be professional and credible and how they represent the overall recruiting industry and profession and be able to provide solutions to their customer(s).

Setting aside the glamourous locations the show is shot at (in Miami), I think the show brings far more reality to the recruiting profession than hype.  That is to say, I feel it does a really good job representing what it is like to be a corporate or agency recruiter.  It gives a nice flavour as to the types of scenarios recruiters are faced with and it does shine a nice (positive) light on the necessary skills required to be a successful recruiter.  While not everyone who is in the recruiting business flies around on jets, drives a Porsche and lives in a mansion, the show does highlight that being a successful recruiter can translate into high degree of personal success if you choose it as a profession and in fact, it is a worthy profession to get into.  The show works hard to dispel some common stereotypes that recruiters are all used car salesman types that would do anything for a buck.  Ultimately, the show uses the tagline #themovement.  It’s ultimate aim is to change the way people look and feel about the recruiting profession and I do think they are succeeding (positively) in achieving this goal.

As far as the entertainment value goes, the show has a very high production value.  It is expertly shot and edited.  The challenges, interviews and behind the scenes looks are all spliced together seamlessly.  I find myself feeling that the 20-30 minute episodes aren’t long enough!  So, based on the fact that I feel Top Recruiter shines a nice spotlight on the recruiting industry/profession as a whole, I highly recommend that anyone interested in the profession takes the time to watch.  You will be entertained and you will learn.  Overall, I recommend the show and do feel that Top Recruiter is far more reality than it is hype and I am looking forward to the rest of Season 3 and hopefully a Season 4!

What about you? Have you watched?  What do you think?  Does it accurately portray the profession?  As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.



5 Responses

  1. an honest observation. Especially the line” I wouldn’t want a show shot within my office environment.” Classic.

  2. Thanks Torin – I appreciate the comments!

  3. […] of interesting perspectives from many industry experts on the subjects on which he films. I have previously blogged about the Top Recruiter series and what my impressions were of that particular production. Currently, Chris is wrapping production […]

  4. Thought I’d stop by and drop an update. Season 4 taping begins on Monday. Make sure you connect with me, as I fully intend to represent the space and the emphasis on diversity well.

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