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May 11, 2006 6:09 AM   Subscribe

After 12 weeks, viewers of the UK version of "The Apprentice" saw Michelle Dewberry beat off Ruth Badger to win a £100,000 a year job working for Sir Alan Sugar. Inspired by the show, some organisations are leaning towards this style of hiring for their own recruitment. Not surprisingly, others are dismayed.
posted by mr_silver (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
"beat off" must mean something different in British English than in American English.
posted by birdherder at 6:21 AM on May 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


Because the exercises measure competencies like interpersonal skills, graduates can "act out" the role of the perfect team player to pass, regardless of whether they achieve the goal of the task in hand, she explains.

It's interesting that you would hope to solve the problem of not being able to tell if someone is a "team player" by employing a process that has proven close to 100% effective at figuring out who the most sociopathic and asinine individual is and selecting them as winner, because that garners the most ratings.

I guess you could pick the person who gets weeded out first...
posted by illovich at 6:24 AM on May 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


"What's attractive about The Apprentice is that all the candidate eliminations are ultimately driven by failure to achieve results. This would not only elicit real behaviour, but it would be more relevant to today's working world where there is a huge emphasis on results and targets, as well as innovation."

Yes, it's certainly logical to project an individual's future productivity on how they perform in ad hoc competetive stunts in an unfamiliar environment with no training.
posted by effwerd at 6:26 AM on May 11, 2006


I too was struck by the use of "beats off." It reminded me of something I saw on BBC news a while ago about a beauty queen beating off 100 competitors. I searched the BBC news site for that article and discovered quite a pattern of such usage. See for yourself.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:40 AM on May 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


The two finalists were on This Morning (daytime TV show) earlier today. Apparently they filmed two endings to the show, with each person being declared the winner. The filming wrapped last October, and they have both been employed by Alan Sugar ever since, although neither of them knew who was the actual winner, all of which sounds a little bizarre.

The runner up Ruth Badger's website makes no mention of this. Incidentally ruthbadger.co.uk directs you to the website of Tuan Le, another of the competitors.
posted by bap98189 at 6:44 AM on May 11, 2006


Yeah, well the British really hate the U.S. use of the term "fanny" and "crap", (among others) so it all evens out in the end. Pun unintended
posted by spock at 6:49 AM on May 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


Regarding companies using this as a tactic for their own applicants, my first thought was "Who has the time to take part in such a long process?" Then my second thought was: "The unemployed." So as long as a company wants to hire from only those ranks, I say "Go for it!"
posted by spock at 6:52 AM on May 11, 2006


I hypothesised that he'd hire Michelle and offer a lesser paid job to Ruth (like he did to the finalists in the first series).

If Ruth had won, he would be in a position where he would be offering Michelle a role that pays less than she is currently earning - as such, she probably wouldn't have accepted it.

With the way that he did it, he gets to employ both of them.
posted by mr_silver at 6:58 AM on May 11, 2006


What does the US "crap" mean then?
posted by twistedonion at 7:06 AM on May 11, 2006


Is Alan running a pyramid/Ponzi scheme?

...We have called this sales strategy the "Sir Alan Sugar Enterprise Scheme". The sales method is very innovative and is geared to stimulate sales through existing purchasers who in turn will be able to earn a commission every time they encourage someone else to purchase a unit.
posted by patricio at 7:10 AM on May 11, 2006


Regarding companies using this as a tactic for their own applicants, my first thought was "Who has the time to take part in such a long process?"

My thought was the best thing you could do is blackmail the guy who tells you that you have to go through this.
posted by eriko at 7:12 AM on May 11, 2006


(Wait, what does the UK "crap" mean? Here in the States we use it wherever we'd use "shit" — it means either "odds and ends" or "feces" or "worthless.")
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:13 AM on May 11, 2006


"Who has the time to take part in such a long process?" Then my second thought was: "The unemployed." So as long as a company wants to hire from only those ranks, I say "Go for it!"

That's a pretty good point. In order for me to have the time to go through a process like a reality TV show, I'd need to be unemployed, or able to take several weeks off of work.

It's unlikely that you would actually get many good applicants, with the exception of extremely good career making/launching positions at very prestigious firms (I'm talking stuff where you need to be top of class at an Ivy League business/professional school to have your resume considered), and fuck those guys anyway because they probably are set for life, win or lose. =P
posted by illovich at 7:29 AM on May 11, 2006


Here in the States we use it wherever we'd use "shit"

That would be about right, I've never heard of another meaning for it... Hell, am I becoming Americanised !?!
posted by twistedonion at 7:41 AM on May 11, 2006


The US "crap" is a noun only. The UK "crap" can also (and to my ears, gratingly) be used as an adjective.
posted by kittyprecious at 8:13 AM on May 11, 2006


I also use "crap" as a verb quite often, as do many of my American friends. "Stop crapping up the thread."

Typically, I hear "crappy" as the adjective form here, but occasionally I'll hear a friend use "crap" as the adjective form. Rare though, in my experience.
posted by Mikey-San at 8:32 AM on May 11, 2006


"Crap" in the US is also a verb, actually. And I've heard plenty of folks use it as an adjective. Seems to me some folks aren't paying close enough attention.
posted by grubi at 8:34 AM on May 11, 2006


This is a crap post.

You see it all the time.
posted by Cyrano at 8:49 AM on May 11, 2006


> British English than in American English

By British English, do you mean 'English'?

Many English people say that Americans speak American, as the differences are becoming so pronounced.
posted by catchmurray at 8:50 AM on May 11, 2006


Didn't there used to be a complaint in here about the spoilers on the front page?
posted by smackfu at 8:55 AM on May 11, 2006


Honestly, I think the apprentice has had the same effect on job hunts in the U.S.
I personally have not encountered a lengthy selection process for a position, but I work in an industry and area where qualified applicants are few and far between.
My wife, however, seems to face this whenever she applies for a job. Usually there's a large call of applicants, followed by individual interviews (of which there will be one or two) and then some kind of group interview and a day working on the job.
Personally I think it's all a bit much. I mean, am a qualified, do you think I can do the job and do you want to hire me? Then f***ing do it. What kind of human relations department has this much time and money to waste?
posted by kaiseki at 9:01 AM on May 11, 2006


What kind of human relations department has this much time and money to waste?

The HR department that is then able to demand more staff because of the delays in the recruitment process. HR departments in general are acquiring more and more power within large organisations.
posted by bap98189 at 9:16 AM on May 11, 2006


Here in the States we use it wherever we'd use "shit"

Except neither as strong nor as objectionable as 'shit,' i.e. much more acceptable for so-called polite company. I imagine that the New York Times, for instance, publishes 'crap' in interviewees' quotes, but no way do they print 'shit.'
posted by melixxa600 at 9:17 AM on May 11, 2006


Is Alan running a pyramid/Ponzi scheme?

A Pyramid Scheme or a Ponzi Scheme all rely on the lower tier people investing money into the scheme. That money is then paid to the people that previously invested either as part of the pyramid game or as "their (incredible) return on their investment".

What this appears to be is a simple direct marketing with a commission being paid for each sale. It does not appear that the people participating in this program have to invest any of their own money; the participants only need the customers to buy the product and to provide the participant's membership number to get the commission.
posted by Raymond Marble at 9:17 AM on May 11, 2006


I think the point of "crap" is that it is much more socially acceptable here than "shit". A parent, for example, would probably not object to their child of a certain age saying "crap" while "shit" would be considered an overly course "bad word". My understanding of the UK is that both are on more equal grounds.
posted by spock at 10:38 AM on May 11, 2006


Sorry! I missed that melixxa600 already made that point before I posted.
posted by spock at 10:39 AM on May 11, 2006


Wow. Contests are driving everything these days.
posted by Isabeau Sahen at 11:00 AM on May 11, 2006


I imagine that the New York Times, for instance, publishes 'crap' in interviewees' quotes, but no way do they print 'shit.'

Softcore

Of course, The Guardian takes it to the next level.
posted by ninebelow at 11:16 AM on May 11, 2006


Raymond Marble: You're absolutely right, I guess I was just hoping that he was up to no good (besides portraying all people in the business world as arrogant, egotistical wankers and the business world as dog-eat-dog mayhem where the best plan is to screw over everyone you meet). Not that I feel strongly.
posted by patricio at 11:24 AM on May 11, 2006


By British English, do you mean 'English'?

Many English people say that Americans speak American, as the differences are becoming so pronounced.


American and British English are dialects of English which have a recognised standard form

Not the Queen's English
Non-native English-speakers now outnumber native ones 3 to 1... In Asia alone, the number of English-users has topped 350 million—roughly the combined populations of the United States, Britain and Canada. There are more Chinese children studying English—about 100 million—than there are Britons.
posted by dhartung at 11:48 AM on May 11, 2006


What was it with contestant surnames this year? Dewberry, Stanberry, Badger and Tulip. They sound like animated spokescharacters in a chocolate milk advertising campaign. Or maybe really bad trannies from Blackpool.

I imagine that the New York Times, for instance, publishes 'crap' in interviewees' quotes, but no way do they print 'shit.'

Really? How retro. And on the subject of crap - it's crap to say that 'crap' is on a par with 'shit' in the UK.
posted by jack_mo at 11:49 AM on May 11, 2006


What kind of human relations department has this much time and money to waste?

Is that what HR is called where you are? In the U.S., they're human resources, because we're all replaceable. the HR people here don't want to relate to us.

As to what kind of HR department has that kind of time - all the ones I've ever seen. if it makes them look useful, they're on it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:58 PM on May 11, 2006


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