How to be a complete cult

With recruitment once again receiving bad press, the team at Knoydart Peninsula’s “Talent Blog of the Year 2018”, Tutti Recruitti, went undercover to answer the burning question on the lips of every hiring professional this week: how do cults recruit so damn successfully?

A good-looking question. Especially when you consider the staffing barriers that they face. Salary for successful candidates? A bowl of water a day, subject to performance. Working hours? Full-time continuous (24/7, 365). Perks? There’s a floor. Employer Branding? Yes, employer initials on right hip, applied with heat.

For some, this isn’t a particularly attractive offer. For many though, this clearly seems a quality opportunity and one that they are eager to pursue. But why? 

To understand these questions further, Tutti Recruitti sent its lead investigative reporter and part-time behavioural physiotherapist into the field as an active candidate, open to new opportunities.

Worryingly, just four days into the operation, contact had been completely lost.

But then, a curve ball from left-field. The Tutti Recruitti team was invited to meet up with her in a secret location on the edge of some famous woods in Nottinghamshire and was advised that she was in fact now a fully-fledged cult member and that our meeting would be brief.

To protect Julie Harrison’s identity, we refer to her simply by her codename, “HC” (Hot Candidate) 

TR: “Thanks for meeting us Julie, obviously we’ll maintain anonymity. Before we find out what’s happening now, readers will want to know, how did you initially establish contact with recruiters?”

HC: “Well, getting invitations from recruiters was much easier than I anticipated. Initially I just clicked the necessary option on LinkedIn and got one or two messages but remembering a recent blog from one of my then colleagues, I quickly updated my profile pic to something a little more suggestive, and baring a smile really seemed to drive the message home.”

TR: “OK. So how many offers did you receive? And what were they like?”

HC: “Loads. Some were highly inappropriate, some were the usual spammy rubbish, but some stood out. One in particular! In fact, it’s the reason I got to where I am today.”

TR: “The woods?”

HC: “No I’m actually Personal Assistant number 664 to Wilfried Emmall, the leader of our movement. I can’t say much about what we do, but I couldn’t be more satisfied in my job.”

TR: “Oh, OK. Thanks for letting us know by the way. So, what was it about the opportunity that really grabbed you? So much so that you were willing to give up arguably the most sought-after job in investigative journalism.”

HC: “It was everything really. From the way they introduced themselves, focusing on my wants and needs before providing me details of the movement and of the potential role for me there. The recruiter really was amazing, and the interview felt like I was meeting with old friends. It truly was the best candidate experience ever! I loved my old job, but you can’t put a value on isolation from the outside world.” TR: “Interesting. So you weren’t put off by the horror stories surrounding cults that you’d personally been researching for months previously?”

HC: “I was obviously a bit worried at the beginning, but after being shackled to a wall for 72 hours without sleep, everything became more visceral, and I stopped caring about what I wanted. Since I overcame those initial nerves it’s been totally bliss.”

TR: “Right, right. Bliss. And was there a salary or anything else that they used to lure you, I mean attract you, to the role?”

HC: “Yes, of course. We get paid in ketones.”

TR: “They pay you with sounds?”

HC: “No, no, ketones provide us with energy by converting stored fat into a fuel source. Because we don’t get access to food, ketones essentially allow our body to consume its own fat for energy.”

TR: “You mean they starve you and your body is literally eating itself?”

HC: “Oh no, our incredible leader, Wil…” *Interrupting

TR: “OK thanks Julie. Best of luck with everything.”

Upon realising the utter madness that was about to come from her next, the Tutti Recruitti team cut their former colleague short, and headed back to safety.

So there you have it. How do cults recruit so damn successfully?

Their recruiters and hiring team make the entire journey about the candidate

They sell the opportunity when the time is right and in a way that focuses on why it could interest the individual, considering both their professional and personal requirements

They only target the mentally unstable and vulnerable

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#investigativejournalism #culture #employerbrand