By Cliff Moore, Account Director, Deep South Media
Is everyone enjoying this autumn’s season of The Apprentice, the TV talentless show featuring desperate wannabes fighting to win a business deal with Lord Sugar?
It is generally required viewing in our house as the latest bunch of preening ego-maniacs goes toe-to-toe to discover who is the least witless and who can shout loudest during the boardroom denouement at the end of each episode.
However, 2015 has not hit the levels of opprobrium generated previously by the likes of Katie Hopkins, Leah Totton, Stella English, Susan Ma, Yasmina Siadatan and the late Stuart ‘the brand’ Baggs.
Of course, if the programme was populated by reasonable, accommodating and level-headed contestants with good business brains – and each task was carried out perfectly and with good grace – then no one would be watching.
We much prefer watching the likes of the sales rep trainer getting the boot for failing to sell anything and the construction industry executive summarily fired for her inability to project manage a building assignment.
That’s why the series producers set out to recruit this particular type of bombastic candidate who seem to roll off a conveyor belt – the phrase ‘all mouth and no trousers’ springs to mind.
The big question, and to drag this TV review back into the realm of media relations, is: Would you employ any of them in your company?
They all seem, admittedly by their own flowery words, highly successful in their fields. It is only at the fearsome interview stage when professional interrogators (more’s the pity probably not Claude Littner this year) drill down below the surface and discover that most are merely scarecrows.
While accepting that a huge amount of filming and clever editing goes on to make them look this stupid, it would surely be a PR disaster to take on one of this lot based on their performances.
Every company needs a maverick or the world of business would be a dull, non-innovative place, but there is something seriously wrong with your recruitment procedures if you end up with one of these.
Apprentices, in my experience, are (mostly) young, hard-working and with an immense thirst for knowledge. They are keen, loyal and the future of your company – they are you 30 years ago and should be nurtured.
Whereas the TV apprentices should not be nurtured at all. No good, other than entertainment value, can possibly come from hiring one. Just don’t do it.
But are they all just playing roles, unwittingly or not, in the Alan Sugar show? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to discover that all the candidates over the years had been actors.
And we’re all part of The Truman Show.