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What Love Island taught us about recruitment (yes, really)

15 Aug 11:00 by Mark Trist

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Love Island withdrawal? You’re not alone. Like many workplaces across the country, we were hooked. The antics of complete strangers in a villa dominated our conversations even more than the heatwave and (dare we say it) the World Cup. As well as teaching us lessons in love, the show has proffered some learnings around the recruitment process. Here are just a few things the BAFTA-winning show has in common with the search for a job... 

The line-up

Who can forget the cringe-tastic moment when no one stepped forward to couple up with Dr Alex in the first episode? It wasn’t only the nation’s unlucky-in-love who empathised with the blushing six-footer, with jobseekers inwardly groaning at the experience of being passed over for opportunities.

Sending a CV and receiving no response or going to an interview and not getting a callback can be tough to handle, especially when it happens more than once. However, like Alex, you need to brush yourself off and keep going. Keep your mind focused on other opportunities and continue to present yourself in the best way you can. If you work with a recruiter, ask them to help you polish your CV, or give you some interview tips. Also, you have the right to ask for feedback as to why you weren’t suitable for a role. This may help you identify what’s not connecting or where your skills are lacking so you can brush up and ace it next time.

The hopper

Adam will probably be best remembered for his sly grin when a sobbing Rosie made an impassioned speech about how he’d upset her. That, and the now parodied line ‘I’d be lying if I said she wasn’t an attractive girl’ uttered at the sight of the fourth girl he’d put the moves on. Moving on so rapidly earned him the reputation as the villa’s love rat, but what about job hoppers? Can moving from role to role harm your career and reputation in your industry?

Not necessarily. Although it’s not ideal to have multiple roles with short tenures on your CV, it’s 2018 and less and less people, particularly younger generations, are staying at companies for decades like their parents’ generation might have. If you’ve moved around a lot, it’s important to provide good and clear reasons as to why you’re now looking for a new job. Instead of dwelling on why you left each role, try to highlight your achievements in them, whether that’s completing a project, managing a team or increasing sales. If you demonstrate accomplishments and remain positive about your career history, there’s a better chance an employer will overlook any hopping.

Getting mugged off

Aside from Dr Alex, the one name synonymous with getting mugged off on this year’s Love Island has to be Laura. Both Wes and Jack sent her packing when someone else made their move and Laura was heralded as handling the rejection like a pro (albeit with the odd bit of sulking and name-calling).

Linked to our point about not catching a break, handling yourself with class is imperative when it comes to finding a job. While some employers will send rejections via email and others won’t tell you at all, you may find yourself getting the ‘rejection call’. It’s becoming more common for employers to break the bad news in real time, which puts an awful lot of pressure on the candidate to take the news with dignity and even ask for feedback. It’s not easy, especially if you had your heart set on the role, and the last thing you probably want to hear is all of the reasons why you failed. However, handling it gracefully and taking their points onboard means the door might be open to you in the future.

I’m loyal, babes

Barely an episode went by without Georgia proclaiming her loyalty to anyone who’d listen in the villa. Nothing wrong with that, of course. And when it comes to job hunting, don’t employers want to loyal candidates?

A Glassdoor blog post on the most common interview answers that employers dislike featured the answer to ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’. Candidates often say ‘I see myself doing this job’, and Steve Pritchard, HR Consultant for Ben Sherman, points out why it’s so frustrating: “A lot of interviewees say this because they believe it shows a great deal of loyalty and commitment to the company, making them the perfect hire. However, what this actually does is suggest a lack of ambition. Employers don’t want to know that you will want to be in the same position five years later, they want to know what you will do to develop yourself and the company.”

Instead, use the question to showcase how ambitious you are and the position you’d love to progress into. If you’re not sure, then do some research on the company before the interview to see what roles in the business you’d love to do one day. It might feel slightly strange when you’ve got your sights set on the job you’re sat in the interview chair for, but it’ll make you stand out for all of the right reasons. 

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career and look for an exciting new opportunity, then take a look at our latest roles and sign up for job alerts to make sure you don’t miss out. Alternatively, contact our friendly team if you’d like some guidance on how to land your ideal role. And for those still suffering from a massive Love Island hangover, the Australian version starts next week. You’re welcome.