The title of today’s post is a reference to the Reality TV Show “The Last Comic Standing”. As a professional talent scout, I am enthralled with any reality show that has to do with the talent selection process. I get hooked on the suspense of determining the “cream of the crop”. There are several interesting aspects to the format of these shows that are applicable to the hiring process.

They start by casting a large net

As painful as it is to generate a big candidate pool and weed through the thousands of contestants, it is the only way to ensure that they have a pool large enough to generate the number of candidates that they need to create a compelling talent pool.

Everyone goes through the same process

It is amazing to see that success is achieved in many different ways. Everyone is striving for the same goal, in the case of the comics it is to make people laugh, but they each reach the goal using a different approach. This is true for every genre of talent. Being open to diversity enables them to find unique talents like Blake from American Idol who does the beat box in his routine.

The panel interview format seems to work best

“The Last Comic Standing”, “So You Think You can Dance”, “Project Runway”, and “American Idol” all use a selection panel which typically consists of 3 judges. Only 2 of the 3 have to vote “yes” in order for the candidate to move forward in the process.

They are extremely selective

In addition to the panel interview format, the next step is to let millions of people cast their vote. The aggregate scores provide validated data from which to select the winners each week.

The best candidates do not always audition well

It is interesting to note that the people who were borderline in auditions may come back to deliver the most amazing performances in the next round. It seems that at least 2 of the top 4 singers in American Idol are there because they are able to adapt enough to rise to each challenge, even if they do not have as much raw talent as the others. Their ability to learn, their drive for success, and positive attitude can carry them to the top.

It is a huge effort, but the return on investment is huge

Sometimes the hiring process can seem daunting but, if you put a lot into it, you can get a lot more in return when you have “the stars” on your team.

In conclusion, it is possible that these shows are completely rigged and I am gullible, but it sure beats watching shows like “Deal or No Deal” where they lack a focus of what they are actually looking for which ultimately ruins the experience for me and everyone else. If we had a reality recruiting show to find the most talented hiring manager in the world, Simon Cowell might be the winner.

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