IT'S my favourite task in the Apprentice series; the "interviews". Every year, the combined investigative and interrogative efforts of an impressive team of businessmen and women reduce Lord Sugar's potential apprentices to quivering wrecks.
We've had candidates exposed for lying on their CVs and candidates embarrassed by their lack of knowledge about Lord Sugar's business empire, and this year was no exception.
Stuart "the brand" Baggs was fired after interviewer Viglen CEO Bordan Tkachuk discovered he had enhanced information on his CV. The fact he attempted to blag over the error, blame someone else, and failed to 'fess up and apologise only made matters worse.
Lord Sugar was annoyed with himself for failing to see through Baggs, announcing bluntly: "Stuart, you are full of shit, I don't believe a word you say."
But Lord Sugar had 11 weeks to watch Baggs in action, see his performance and attitude in tasks, listen to him in the boardroom, and listen to the other contestants as well as the "expert" advisers Karren Brady and Nick Hewer. And he still managed to get it wrong.
Poor Joanna "the cleaner" Riley was slated for not doing her background work on Lord Sugar's businesses. So why didn't Lord Sugar didn't have someone check out Baggs' background prior to the start of the show?
Aside from the fact this is a reality TV programme, most of us don't get that opportunity in our recruitment process. We get a CV, an interview or two, maybe a psychometric test, but we rarely have the advantage of watching them in action as well as getting input from other experienced and respected business people.
That may be about to change. Some of the country's top recruiters have shared their predictions for recruitment trends for 2011 and the future is, well, futuristic, literally. Augmented reality CV anyone?
Produced by The Recruiter magazine, Technology Outlook 2011 asks industry leaders to predict how the job market will adapt to meet the ever-changing demands of employers and employees in a difficult economic environment. It's all going to be about technology; job boards, social media, enhanced CVs, parsing and matching systems, mobile job hunting and quality mobile sites.
And it features some pretty extreme examples too; one job candidate secured employment after making a "plinth appeal" in Trafalgar Square, and others are taking the Hollywood approach and making a movie of their life and work.
Should you so choose, you can even stand in front of a green screen and create your own augmented reality CV, bring your career to life right in front of the eyes of your potential future employer.
What surprises me about this, however, is there is little about skills and personality, determination and enthusiasm, what I would call the ‘reality' element.
According to Ross Boyce, of Search, the recruitment process is about satisfying yourself that you're selecting the best candidate for your vacant role and who will fit well with your company culture, so advances in technology are going to have very little effect on recruitment.
Boyce believes the process is, quite simply, all about people; both employers and applicants need to remember that, and engage well when they meet, satisfying themselves that this is the right job or person for them.
Nadine Pierce, of Eden Scott, agrees. There may be fewer jobs and more active job seekers, but there are also plenty of other good candidates out there already in jobs that might be tempted if the company sells the benefits to working there well.
"I predict a huge amount of change recruitment-wise in 2011," says Pierce. "A lot of companies are now in a position to grow their teams again, but you will also find a number of people (who would normally have moved on but sat tight during the recession) will be actively looking, and ultimately creating new job openings behind them."
Indeed it appears the key trend for 2011 will not be technology after all, but will instead be increased competition, both for good candidates and sought-after positions, so applicants should think smart and make themselves stand out in a positive manner.
Just remember, "You can't be over-prepared," says Boyce. "And applicants, never claim that you're ‘passionate' - you're not on The Apprentice."
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