While the 13th series gets underway, where is the winner of series 4?
In 2008 there were 16 candidates but only one winner for the £100,000 job on offer on The Apprentice reality TV series. And that winner was Lee McQueen. But it wasn’t just the winning that made him an overnight celebrity, his success had a dark side too.
Not too many of us knows what it feels like to be hung, drawn and quartered on TV. Millions watched the excruciating, gut wrenching and agonising pains of Lee being found out for fibbing on his CV. Yet just like Braveheart, Lee looked his executioners square in the face, but unlike the Scottish warrior he lived to tell the tale, and in doing so revealed someone prepared to take on the plight of the people. That plight is now the basis of his thriving business, Raw Talent Academy.
Thinking back to that time we asked Lee how he felt after Lord Sugar’s final words of the series, ‘Lee you’re hired’. “It was fantastic all that hard work that turned your life upside down, to get through 12 weeks, and then to know that I had beaten 20,000 people to the job, so yes it was absolutely fantastic to hear those words”.
But The Apprentice competition starts long before the 12 televised episodes. Known as the ‘ultimate interview’, your talent needs to shine through at audition, even before you’re accepted onto the show.
Speaking about this Lee says, “It’s tough before you get on the show you know. Before you get on you go through 6 or 7 interviews but I made a decision and a commitment I’m gonna do it; I’m gonna be myself, do my best, I’m going to build relationships and do what I’ve done throughout my whole career, and that is work hard. And don’t’ get fired in the first week, luckily for me that was the case. I think I am the only one to date never to be in the final three of the boardroom across the 12 series of the apprentice and I’m proud of that.”
In describing Lee’s business as the ‘plight of the people’ it might appear to some rather altruistic, so let’s be clear, Raw Talent Academy is a profit making concern, a very successful one at that, yet its foundations lie deep into helping those who have enough plucky courage to get up and audition for a job, instead of sitting at a PC, waxing lyrical on a screen, about a work experience that they’ve never had.
After Lee’s win the media had a hay day; couldn’t wait to get the headlines out, but it didn’t matter one jot to Lord Sugar, he had every opportunity to choose a different a candidate, but he didn’t, he chose Lee. And this is a key point for all employers. Lee had performed well across all 12 episodes.
Nine years on Lee McQueen and his catch phrase ‘that’s what I’m talking about’ is running a thriving recruitment firm based on the Apprentice philosophy; that abilities and behaviour are more important than what’s on your CV. A philosophy that says, these are the competencies that employers should be seeking that lead to success.
Lee spent not one but two years working with Lord Sugar before starting his own business. He’s said much about giving people a chance who find it difficult to find a job on just their CV. And he finds it difficult himself to understand why we’re still using a methodology that’s 50 years old. Is it still the right thing to do in 2017. His clients agree with him.
For the last 6 years Lee has be staging auditions, the platform that Raw Talent Academy uses to recruit for his clients which range from Red Bull energy drinks to Tottenham Hotspur football club.
Of the process, his clients admit to a recruiting method like none other.
John Abularrage, chief executive of TP Icap Americas, said he was “sceptical” before the first day “because it’s completely different to the way we normally recruit”. But he said that the day had changed his perceptions because “candidates are put under real pressure in different scenarios – a good way to judge how they would perform in our industry”.
And Rachel Barr, global head of resourcing at TP Icap. “It’s so easy to hire someone that is a carbon copy of yourself. What I found when I joined is that we had an aging demographic, a lot of people in their mid 40s, white, male,” she says. “A lot of people think the Square Mile is an old boys’ club [but] we’ve created an opportunity for everyone and anyone to apply.” The cost per candidate stacks up too.
While Lee’s past might outrage those who were brought up with a job for life, never having to compete on raw skill, others of a different generation find comfort in the fact that their future does not have to be dictated by what life has dished out in their early years. As for employers, what better opportunity to find the talent, that they all say they need, so they can grow their businesses.
“The fact of the matter is, talent will always shine through if you let it, but not if you keep the lid on, or don’t give the opportunities for people to cut through the red tape. But the biggest loss is for the employer” says Lee.
It does take a ‘Braveheart’ to do something different. “That’s what I’m talking about”, says Lee who is just about to do an audition in New York.
Follow the link for more information on the Academy process
The 3 core pillars for a successful grow your own talent strategy
Organisations that invest time & resources in the development of a ‘grow your own talent’ strategy achieve success through complete management buy-in & by underpinning the strategy using 3...
Training & development to grow your own talent for long-term business success
Following a successful onboarding experience the talent of new recruits must be effectively supported & developed throughout their career which requires training. Training plays a massive part within a...
Recruiting & onboarding your own talent is a long-term investment
A ‘grow your own talent’ strategy must include a robust way to source & assess candidates with the best attitude. Sourcing is one of 3 core pillars required for...
Industries promote the ‘Grow your own talent’ approach
Growing your own talent is becoming a necessity for long-term business growth in various industries, especially IT, Media & Finance. Arkadi Kuhlmann, founder & CEO of ING Direct USA, has...
Growing your own early careers talent is the long-term solution for business growth
Many businesses tend to look to their competitors’ employees to poach those with experience – this tends to come at a cost with no guarantee of a successful return...
The best media companies to work for in UK
So you want to get into media. Find out who the best media companies are to work for and why. Raw Talent Academy, specialists in sales recruitment and training,...
Apprentice winner, Lee McQueen 9 years on
While the 13th series gets underway, where is the winner of series 4? In 2008 there were 16 candidates but only one winner for the £100,000 job on offer...
Why continual sales training is essential to be a top performing company
Great sales organisations are not hung up about what’s on a CV, they train raw talent says Lee McQueen, Lord Sugar’s Apprentice winner 2008.Walk into any book shop and...
Is it sales technology or sales talent that drives superior sales performance?
Lee McQueen, Lord Sugar’s Apprentice winner 2008, talks about the importance of raw sales talent as the building block for superior sales in context of findings from Aberdeen’s latest...
Raw Talent Move Office to Gerrards Cross
We are delighted to confirm we have relocated to Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. Effective from 3rd July 2017. Our new address is: Building One, Chalfont Park, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, SL9...
Raw Talent & Sales Gym 360 Partnership
The partnership will see Raw Talent focus on sales recruitment, via their academy process, while Sales Gym 360 will deliver sales training. Both organisations have worked closely together over...
Raw Talent Launch New Website
After announcing the appointment of a Board of Directors last week and the relocation of the office, Raw Talent has now unveiled a new website. According to Raw Talent...
Hire Those Who Have Travelled
When looking to hire your next sales or recruitment champion you would do well to take a look at individuals who have taken the chance to travel and live...
2017: A Candidate’s Market
The job market has been firmly in favour of the candidate for a while now, and with 2017 graduates now entering the market, that isn’t going to change anytime...