Have a rant: Apprentice is unrepresentative of HR

What skills do you need to work in HR? A strong sense of empathy? Good people skills? A diplomatic nature and strategic mindset?

Apparently none of the above, if Jo Cameron’s performance on the BBC’s reality show The Apprentice is to be believed.

Jo Cameron in BBC’s The Apprentice.

The former HR manager, who now runs her own management training consultancy, has set the image of the HR profession back at least 50 years.

For those who have yet to witness her TV appearances, allow me to explain how excruciatingly painful, yet strangely compelling, it is. Watching Cameron blub, screech and whinge her way through an episode is the most painful TV viewing since George Galloway asked Rula Lenska “would you like me to be the cat?” on Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year.

Cameron is like an emotional yo-yo. Happy one minute, sad the next, and then back on top of the world. In fact, I think it would take the patience and restraint of a saint to work with her.

Yet she is still in the running to win. Somehow she has survived, despite (or perhaps because of) being an expert in passing the buck and stabbing her team members in the back.

For some unknown reason, I find myself watching her – and I’m annoyed at myself for admitting that.

She has become the show’s love-hate figure, the ratings winner, the person everyone tunes in to see. We viewers who work in HR should hang our heads in collective shame.


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