40 Lessons from Top Recruiter TV Show

In December 2014 I discovered (via Twitter) a reality Show called “Top Recruiter” which is filmed in Miami, Florida (USA). I used to watch THE APPRENTICE (the American and British series) but was grateful having found another business-related competitive  show. Check it out for more info at: www.TopRecruiter.tv. I would like to summarise in this blog post the lessons from Top Recruiter TV Show that we can learn from these 6 episodes (you can find all of them embedded at the end of the post).


40 Lessons from Top Recruiter TV Show

# 1 – When you go to a networking event do your research first. Find out who the people are that you are going to meet personally. The more you find out and know about them the better. It will give you the edge. You will be able to connect quicker with them, gain their attention instantly and increase your credibility straight away. If you are able to show them how interested you are in what they do, they will love you, trust you and want to do business with you.

# 2 –  Don’t take comments personal, don’t get emotional.

# 3 – Keep eye contact and give a firm handshake to make a good initial first impression.

# 4 – Be passionate.

# 5 – When engaging with other people be conversational and build relationships.

# 6 – Be a good “people person”. Understand the culture, the environment, the needs of individuals/departments and companies. Only by doing this you will be able to find the perfect match between job candidates and companies.

# 7 – When meeting lots of new people, step forward and introduce yourself. Don’t wait until other people approach you. Take the initiative!

# 8 – Don’t consider parties as “parties”. Don’t be flirtatious, stay professional at all times. Go there to network and not exchange your phone numbers with professionals of opposite sex.

# 9 – Work with your team. Do your research, share articles with other team members.

# 10 – Understand technologies and strategies. Stay up-to-date in what is going on, figure out what works and what doesn’t.

# 11 – Don’t be overbearing.

# 12 – Just because you are considerably older than another contestant it doesn’t mean that you have to give advice to a younger contestant. You are in a competition and not in a coaching session (unless you want to intimidate that person).

# 13 – It gives you an edge if you can show your expertise and recruitment experience in various industry sectors and not just in one specifically.

# 14 – If you are a defendant champion it doesn’t mean you have a secured position from the beginning. You would have to work even harder to proof one more time that you are really that good! So don’t take anything for granted and make assumptions that you could be exempt from being voted out just because of past performances.

# 15 – If you have been given instructions to pack your suitcase so that you are ready to leave – should it be really your turn to do so – follow the instructions! Comments like (I don’t remember the exact wording but it was something like this) “If I pack my suitcase and I’m not leaving who is going to unpack/iron my clothes? is simply unacceptable and highly ignorant. Was is just a coincidence that the defendant winner (of the previous series) then really had to leave ???

# 16 – Listen when you need to listen! If it’s only you talking, you will not find out anything about other people.

# 17 – Be engaged with the job candidate you are talking to. Try to make a connection straight from the beginning.

# 18 – Ask the right questions. Don’t hesitate to be quite direct. For example: Are you on LinkedIn? Facebook?

# 19 – You need to listen to the client as well as the candidate in order to find out whether both match perfectly. You need to be able to read between the lines too.

# 20 – You need to consider the client’s culture when looking for the right candidate. You might have many good candidates but not everyone might fit into a particular company/industry.

# 21 – Be approachable!

# 22 – Think outside the box, be creative!

# 23 – The way you dress makes a difference. People might even spend more time with you often just based on that. They will take you more seriously. Your image and impression on others does matter.

# 24 – Be quick!

# 25 – Be factual, not personal.

# 26 – Be open to constructive feedback. Learn from it and you will get better!

# 27 – Focus on your task, don’t get distracted by anyone and anything.

# 28 – Be intrinsically motivated.

# 29 – Be authentic.

# 30 – You don’t get a second chance to make a first (great) impression.

# 31 – When you meet candidates at job fairs ask them “What do you want to get out of this event today?” and see what the candidate answers. See how goal oriented s/he is and what expectations the person has.

# 32 – If attending a job fair introduce yourself first as a Recruiter. Don’t just ask jobseekers straight away what job they are looking for.

# 33 – Look smart! Present yourself as if you would go for speed dating. Well dressed, groomed and with a positive attitude.

# 34 – Instead of asking a candidate “What is your weakness?” you could formulate this question a bit differently by asking “If there is one area you would like to improve upon what would it be and why?”.

# 35 – Advise candidates to go for an “informational interview”. Meeting a Hiring Manager in a less formal situation (rather than an interview) will help you to build a relationship and position yourself differently. Your chances for a job later on in that particular company might be higher.

# 36 – Asking candidates questions such as “What keeps you up at night?” or “If you were a street sign what would you be and why?” can give you a quite revealing insight into the personality of the candidate.


Life Lessons from Top Recruiter TV Show

One more thing …

I was surprised to see that every contestant in this reality show also shared some personal (sad) experiences from their lives. I consider also those lessons as important and would like to also include those lessons from Top Recruiter TV Show in this article.

# 37 – If you are a parent, always make sure you attend your kids’ school performances. Your absence will be noticed and remembered for a long time. Your career sometimes need to be your second priority. (Bloggers own comment: Once you are old it will not be your career that will look after you but your kids – hopefully 🙂 !)

# 38 – Don’t focus too much on what other people think about you, if you feel more attracted to people of the same sex. Convince also your parents! (Bloggers own comment: If you put more emphasis on other people’s opinions you unconsciously admit that what they think is more important than what you think  of yourself (or your parents think). Stay as you are and care less about what others think.).

# 39 – The way you raise your kids will have a deep impact on their own personality later on in life. Kids will always remember how it is and feels like of having a violent, alcoholic father. Kids will never forget violent episodes in their family. (Bloggers own comment: If you had a traumatic childhood it doesn’t mean that you can’t make it big in life and be successful. Be strong and try to give your best to turn your life around and make it better than what you had to experience yourself. Even in the negative experience try to find something positive. See it as a lesson to make sure your own kids once will not experience the same.)

# 40 – Always fight for what you believe in and love. Be prepared to fight. (Bloggers own comment: If you don’t fight you will not be able to make any changes in your life. If it turns out  to be a bad decision at least you tried it and you don’t have to question yourself for the rest of you life…. I wished I would have done something about it !!!!!)

These episodes made me one more time aware of the fact that we are all just human beings. No matter how successful, wealthy, happy and confident people look like, sound and act. Until you don’t know the person a bit better you don’t know what experiences (often tragic) the person went through. Some people are good in hiding their problems, some are not. One thing is for sure, everyone has to some extent some problems. It’s in our hands to master our life the best we can and try to overcome any obstacles! There is always a solution to any problem, we just need to find it!

Now go and enjoy watching this show! It’s the 3rd series and if you want to watch older episodes you can watch them on Vimeo and YouTube. If you are not working in the HR sector maybe you get inspired by it.

A WELL DONE also to all those people who produced and supported this show. It’s great to know that the show can be watched online from any part of the world. I just wished many other countries would take the same initiative and show how recruitment works in their own country. There would be some interesting (cultural) differences to learn about. THANK YOU.

Episode 1:

Episode 2: 

Episode 3: 

Episode 4: 

Episode 5:


Episode 6:


What was your biggest takeaway today? Which lesson are you most excited to use in your own career? I would appreciate it if you could leave a comment and let me know. If you know anyone who could benefit from this article, make sure you share it. You’ll be helping them out and me too! Thanks!


Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh

Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at www.Careerheads.com. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” (http://careerheads.com/product/ebook-44-tips-for-a-successful-video-interview/). She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.

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