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3 Lessons From Love Island That Apply to Recruitment and Retention

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3 Lessons From Love Island That Apply to Recruitment and Retention

​There’s no escaping the Love Island media machine which is currently firing on all cylinders again this summer, filling our TV and social media screens with Insta-famous bikini-clad babes and guys with ripped bodies and amazingly chiseled jawlines, all with smiles white enough to light up the villa.

Love it or hate it, there are a surprising number of lessons we can learn from the antics and drama in the Majorcan villa that are applicable to attracting and retaining talent. In a competitive talent landscape where people have more choices than ever before, you might want to consider some of these Love Island lessons and add them to your game plan.


inflatable flamingos in pool

For those that haven’t watched Love Island, it is a reality dating show. A bunch of gorgeous, fame-hungry hopefuls couple up and share their bed with a complete stranger in the hope of finding a connection and, ultimately, love. In reality, the chance to win a share of £50,000 and secure lucrative brand endorsement deals may be the not-so-secret motivation for some of the cast members.

It is unusual for the pairs to stay in the same couple throughout their 8-week stay in the villa as a series of challenges, islander dumping’s, and the arrival of fresh talent sees contestants have their heads turned and partners swapped several times. There’s a lesson to be learned here for candidate retention; employees, in the end, are much more likely to stay at a job they’re getting a sense of fulfillment from, where they’re respected and fairly compensated, and able to bring their best selves to work. Though there will be curiosity about whether the grass is greener on the other side, they will be less inclined to jump ship from a solid foundation.

The boys and girls work hard to get the person they’ve set their sights on to like them, aka ‘grafting’. Halfway through the series, and as the couples are starting to build connections, they face the ultimate test of ‘stick or twist’ which sees them split from their partners to live in separate villas. One group stays in the original villa and the others are transported into Casa Amor, translated as ‘House of Love’.

Now add into each villa a number of brand-new, equally gorgeous grafters from the opposite sex whose goal is to turn heads and bag themselves a place in the main villa.

While you think you know your employees, your competition and recruiters could be ‘grafting’ with them too. Hybrid working makes it easier for candidates to be ‘pulled for a chat’ whilst working from home, and virtual interviews mean taking less time out of the day to attend an interview. If they’re being lured in with better benefits, more work/life balance, and promises of career development, it would tempt any worker to consider their future. The question is, are you being competitive enough?

Employers can’t sit comfortably when it comes to retaining talent. As in Love Island, everyone is out for themselves – no girl or boy code in the war on talent!

Got a connection

couple on inflatables in pool

It’s all very well trying to engage and recruit new talent but if you don’t balance this with staying loyal and connected to your current workforce you will see engagement levels drop and an increase in attrition. Nobody wants to be second best and see the new recruits getting all the love.

Employees may not always tell you how they really feel when asked ‘where’s your head at’ or confess when they’ve got the ick. People are looking for a special connection with their employer, and as businesses evolve, so do employees’ attitudes, wants, and needs.

One bad day is all it takes to turn the head of a loyal employee that sees them re-couple with a new employer. The competition may have been patiently ‘laying it on like factor 50’, building a connection, and waiting in the wings ready to spring into action when the moment is right.

With open vacancies outstripping available candidates, employers need to continue to build and maintain their connection, listening to their wants and need so when a potentially sexier, or more lucrative option is in front of them, they’ll stay ‘loyal’ and ‘coupled up’ with you.

Not my usual type on paper

inflatables in pool

With the shortage of skilled candidates, managers need to ‘keep it real’ and take a fresh look at the skills and capabilities within their business. Where there are gaps would it be easier and quicker to re-skill or up-skill your existing employees rather than having unfilled roles for prolonged periods? Not only could this prove to be effective in the longer term but it also demonstrates your commitment and investment into your people.

Where you have a recruitment requirement it is always worthwhile taking a fresh look at your advert – is it your usual type on paper?

A job description full of jargon does not appeal to today’s talent. First and foremost, they aren’t interested in you, they want to know what’s in it for them. Also, how essential is your essential criteria? If you close yourself off to everyone who doesn’t tick all of your boxes, you could be missing out on a whole new talent pool.

By getting to know candidates who are not your usual type on paper you’ll discover behaviours and skills that can add real value to your business. Open your mind to less restrictive requirements and the talent will follow.

Need help coupling up

The Client Solutions team at greenbean isn’t able to offer you the sun and drama associated with Love Island, but they can certainly help by putting in the graft to identify those that may not ordinarily be your usual type on paper and help you connect.

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