Is the recruitment process like MasterChef?

Business Support

I was recently watching one of my favourite shows in the world: MasterChef. I mean, it’s got everything you want – drama, food, tears, stress and ultimately a happy ending. While I was binge watching one of the earlier seasons I thought to myself ‘this is actually a lot of work to recruit an amazing chef’. Imagine if the recruitment process was this intense with a whole bunch of tests and hoops to jump through. Oh wait…. it’s EXACTLY this intense. Sure, it may not span over several weeks and it may not have the delicious food, but if you strip the show back to its basic concept it’s really just about recruiting a chef.

I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way I’m going to be able to convince you the recruitment process is just a shorter, more private version of MasterChef. Well, get prepared and make sure to write socks on your shopping list because I’m about to blow yours off.

Meet the team

Meet the recruitment team

So here we have Scott, Katie and Molly who will be playing duel roles today – one in the world of MasterChef and one going through a basic typical recruitment process.

Applications are in

How to recruit a chef

We’re talking 100s, maybe 1,000s, of applications. For both cases, our lovely Katie goes through and verifies the skills, experience and capability of all of the candidates. They most likely start by whittling down those who haven’t filled in the application correctly, those who don’t live in the same country as the role/show and those who are severely under qualified. They’ll work tirelessly to prune their list of candidates until they have narrowed the list to be more manageable.

Round 1 | Shortlist

recruitment for a Chef

This is the first hurdle that candidates and contestants have to jump through. On MasterChef you need to get an apron to get through this round. Meanwhile Katie the recruiter is busy making calls and screening candidates. This is where judge and recruiter Katie get to know everyone a little bit better. Connections are formed and if you make it through this round it gets really exciting because you’ve made it onto the longlist.

Round 2 | Competition time

recruitment and MasterChef process

This is where things really get interesting. Both processes ramp up in an effort to narrow it down to a shortlist for the final round.

At this point MasterChef is putting their contestants through tests – pitting themselves against each other to be the best. They put them under high stress and give them tight deadlines and tough challenges. Almost every episode knocks people out and slowly but surely they get down to only a few contestants for the final round.

Sounds a bit similar to recruitment right?

Even a basic recruitment process will make sure every candidate has undergone:

  • Face-to-face interviews with the dreaded behavioural questions
  • Psychometric testing
  • Competency testing
  • Criminal and credit checks
  • Reference checks

After all of this testing we’ll most likely have our finalists. The few candidates we’ll present to our clients to interview.

Round 3 | The Finals


This is the first time the client/guest judges have met the candidates (although in both cases they’ve most likely heard all about them already). This is where the ‘final test’ begins. Whether that be an interview with your employers or an intense few hours cooking up a storm for a blind tasting. Either way, the winner is announced. Contracts are signed. You can finally tell your friends that you won or tell your old boss you quit. A new chef has been recruited.


What can we learn about job hunting from this?

So now that we know MasterChef is basically a big recruitment process in disguise it seems a bit daunting doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. I think people get caught up in the competition of MasterChef, competing against everyone else and not being good enough. In reality though, on both MasterChef and the recruitment process, the only person you’re competing with is yourself. You have to learn to forget about everyone else. You have to cook the best dish or triple check your CV for spelling and grammar in order to give yourself the best opportunity. Step up to the plate and it will pay off.

Food for thought?