Donald Trump, IT recruitment and desperate marketing

14 November 2016

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Donald Trump

Those of you who read Private Eye will know that it runs a regular feature called ‘Desperate Marketing’, where it publishes embarrassingly bad examples of firms making crass attempts to link whatever is the most recent event, fad, headline or story with their product.

Just to show that this applies in almost every circumstance (and I’m conscious that we can justifiably be accused of doing the same here), I tried Googling stories that connect the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the USA with recruitment.  The results were … interesting.

First, I Googled “Trump and recruitment”.  That was a bit scary, because it mainly results in stories to do with ISIS and other terrorist groups who have used (presumably without his consent) Mr. Trump in their propaganda videos.  However, it also threw up a firm called Trump Executives (who may well now be regretting their choice of name) and in particular their training for recruitment and interviewing. There was also another article which claimed that the Donald has “some questionable diversity recruitment tactics” (you don’t say) in that, in the earlier stages of his campaign, he had allegedly offered to pay (female, Latino) actors to appear at his rallies.

I then tried “Trump and Recruiter magazine”, largely because I’d already seen an article in said publication on this subject.  Not slow off the blocks, the Recruiter carried this on the day after the voting, under a headline that claimed that Trump’s win “may benefit business and recruiters in the long term”.  It also noted that the Keynesian infrastructure spending that he (and Mrs. Clinton) promised would give the employment market a significant boost. Clearly, that would be true, not just because they would need a lot of people to build his wall alongside the Mexican border.  In the main though, the Recruiter’s article was just different CEOs from the industry guessing what might happen.  Let’s be honest; they don’t know.  A few days ago, most people in the UK didn’t expect Trump to win the Presidency, so why should we now be right about what might happen next?

Then there was the Global Recruiter site, whose bandwagon climbing consisted of a couple of quotes from a couple of other major recruitment figures, under the headline “Trump’s Impact: recruiters respond to election result”. One (from this side of the pond) suggested that it’s time the UK ends the special relationship with the USA. That’s probably not a good idea. In four (or eight) years time there will be a new President, who, if the UK had cut the historic ties between the two countries, would probably not rush to mend them, having already seen US business abandon Britain for other markets. Sorry, but this seems to me to be an example of where irrational, knee-jerk reactions trump (no pun intended), sensible thought and planning for a future that could get even more challenging depending on the results of the forthcoming elections in Europe - in Holland, France and Germany, as well as the Italian referendum on the possible change to a unicameral parliamentary system. 

Finally, not everyone was unhappy with the election campaigns we’ve just seen over the last year in the States. According to Time magazine in December 2105, the head of the Ku Klux Klan said that Donald Trump is “a great recruiting tool”.  Perhaps he’ll feature at the next exhibition of hiring software…

Gareth Biggerstaff, MD, Be-IT Resourcing

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