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Are Reality TV Shows Making a Recruiter’s Job Even Harder?


Over Half of Candidates Making Recruitment Decisions Based On These Shows.

The average Brit spends up to four hours per day watching television and latest research suggests that job seekers are using the shows they watch to make their career choices. Over half of UK workers (53.9%) would use a reality TV show, such as Traffic Cops or Kitchen Nightmares, to decide whether or not they’d like to work in a profession, with a number of series detracting candidates from entire sectors.

The news comes from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job site, which conducted a survey of over 2,000 workers to uncover the impact reality TV shows have on their respective industries. The findings revealed that the majority (59%) of people believe that these programmes give a realistic insight into an industry, with a staggering 70.5% of workers believing that these kinds of shows are beneficial to the profession they represent. However, many are deemed to be damaging and in this situations, recruiters are having to overcome yet another hurdle to draw in new talent.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments:

“There are so many external factors that influence an individual’s career choices, and the growth of profession-based reality TV series, like Kitchen Nightmares and Traffic Cops, provides a new way to learn more about a particular industry. However, with some of these shows being scripted or over-dramatised for the cameras, this can put candidates off other key sectors and potentially great career opportunities. This means recruiters may have to work even harder to attract key talent into sectors that are already facing skills shortages.”

To understand the impact individual shows have had on their industries, respondents ranked how beneficial or damaging certain shows have been to their respective professions:

Most Beneficial TV Series Most Damaging TV Series:

1. The Great British Bake-off – 41.3%
2. Pet Rescue – 40.2%
3. Traffic Cops – 38.2%
4. Masterchef – 38.2%
5. One Born Every Minute – 34.9% 1. Hotel Hell – 43.8%
2. The Apprentice – 40.1%
3. Kitchen Nightmares – 31.8%
4. Educating Yorkshire/Essex – 22%
5. Cops with Cameras – 21.1%

Biggins concludes:

“Many recruiters are already struggling to attract professionals to key industries, such as education, the public sector and hospitality. Discovering that some shows can have a negative impact on hiring in their sectors is another potential set-back for recruitment professionals.”


CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites, with the UK’s biggest database of over 12m CVs. The company was founded in 2000 as a response to Lee’s identification of a market niche. As a young carpet fitter at the time struggling to find work, Lee saw a need for an easy-to-use job board benefiting both job hunters and recruiters. With a £9k loan and help from a web developer, the CV-Library website was built. Lee’s raw passion and hands-on marketing strategies lifted the business off the ground and it is this that continues to push his company to new heights.

The business is now one of the fastest growing websites in the country. The team is expanding rapidly, now employing over 200 staff. It has also launched sister website, Resume Library, in the US, where the company is set to expand and take the brand global over the coming years. Lee puts the reason for his success down to working incredibly hard, loving what he does and a strong desire to make the business the best it can be.

Lee has received over 50 awards and accolades to date and was last year recognised as Entrepreneur of the Year. In April 2015 CV-Library was also ranked as number 49 in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100.


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