Whether you love it or loathe it, Love Island is utterly unescapable.

Having been resurrected from the ITV graveyard in 2015, the show has morphed into an annual national phenomenon – rated Twitter’s most talked-about TV show in 2018 and 2019.

Love Island is now so hugely influential it has seeped through from its summer schedule and into our day-to-day lives. “Cracking on”, “pied off” and “my type on paper” have slipped into our vocabulary and Kem Cetinay is all over daytime TV like a rash.

From pre-teens to sixty-somethings, school kids to Oxford grads, Love Island has a universal appeal, uniting the nation together for eight weeks as we settle down to watch, critique and pour over what is fundamentally the Instagram Influencer Olympics.

Against a backdrop of Brexit, Donald Trump’s gaffe-fuelled presidency and our own government in meltdown, Love Island gives us one hour of glorious escapism in our day where literally nothing else matters other than the relationships of those on screen.

So what can recruiters learn from the world of fake tans, infinity pools and bikinis?

  • Reputation is not enough

Candidates for the 2019 show include attractive ‘bevs,’ including a recruitment consultant, a pharmacist, a fireman, a boxer, a basketball player, a ballroom dancer and of course, a range of ‘models’ – many of whom will be dumped from the island over the 8 weeks.

Recruiters cannot rely on corporate credentials or employer reputation alone, but must ‘lay it on factor 50’ throughout the candidate journey to show that they’ll be great employers with intuitive, thorough and engaging application processes. If candidates respect their employers, they are more likely to form strong and lasting relationships (just as Cara and Nathan did, who met in the villa and are now married and have a child) which will ensure a higher retention rate.

2. Invest in ongoing relationship building

It’s easy to think you’ve found the love (employer) of your life whilst idling under the Mallorcan sun. However the harsh reality of day-to-day life back in Blighty took the gloss off many of the relationships, leading to ‘heads getting turned’ and countless ‘dumpings’. To be successful, employers need to ensure people are given a sense of purpose, understand where their jobs fit in to the overall business, invest in communications and ensure senior management are visible and accessible. Otherwise you may just get ‘pied’.

3. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket

This much-repeated phrase is another catchphrase on the Island. In context, it refers to the contestants not getting too heavily involved with their potential partners in case someone else they prefer comes along. Many islanders do not want to settle with someone when the love of their life could enter the villa at any point.

It may be tempting to focus on one particular talent pool, particularly for specialist hiring. However – by broadening your reach through apprenticeships programmes, upskilling or retraining people with related skills, engaging with alumni and encouraging returners, recruiters will broaden their pool and may find an unexpected gem. If recruiters let past negative recruitment put them off and stop them from pursuing new employees, they may miss out on potential talent.

4. Challenge preconceptions

‘You’re 100% my type,’ is perhaps the most used phrase on the Island every year.

In the world of recruitment, employers may have certain ideas of their “type” of candidate – with certain preferences for education or employment history. However, whilst these candidates may suit them better ‘on paper’, workplace compatibility does not always follow these rules. Considering atypical candidates may create a stronger dynamic going forward for recruiters who choose under-represented talent.

 So – it is what it is – talent learnings from paradise island