Would you hire a cast member from MTV’s “Jersey Shore”?

by Rich DeMatteo on December 28, 2009 · 22 comments

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Quick Disclaimer – I’m an Italian American living on the east-coast, and while I do not find the term “Guido” offensive, I am offended that cast members on the show down play the word and its meaning.  Older Italian generations may still believe that “Guido” is is a slur, but many fight back saying it isn’t a derogatory word,  it’s a lifestyle of a sub-culture of Italians.  This post is my opinion on the effect this show might have on the careers of younger cast members, NOT the word and it’s meaning.

guidos

Photo Credit - www.sliderguide.com

They have big muscles, busty figures, a never ending application of make-up, cases of hair gel, and now MTV is showing what happens when you throw 8 of them into one beach house.  Striking gold yet again,  MTV’s latest train wreck is called “Jersey Shore”, and features 20 somethings living the “Guido” life style.

Most of my family members find the show and its cast-members offensive, but made sure to talk about “Jersey Shore”  for all three of our extended family dinners we’ve had over this holiday season.  My family certainly isn’t alone in their disgust.  Dominos recently pulled their sponsorship, and the president of the national Italian-American service organization has made sure to voice his anguish with the show.

The point is, whether you love or hate “Jersey Shore”, you’re talking about it and the shows orangey-tanned cast.  Cast members have made appearances basically everywhere, including  Jay Leno where he publicly embarrasses 3 of them.  The “Guido” lifestyle is gaining national recognition, and while the buzz is exactly what MTV wanted, is the possible infamy helping or hurting the careers of the shows cast?

Get your Jager Bombs ready, I’m in the zone…

What does being a “Guido” mean?

To fully understand how the cast-members guido-ness hurts or helps their careers, we must first take a quick look into what it means to live that life style.  Wikipedia describes Guido’s (guys) as humorously thuggish with an overtly macho attitude.  Wikipedia also says they often wear plain T-shirts, muscle shirts, leather jackets, unbuttoned dress shirts, and throw heavy quantities of gel on their head to get  right amount of spike in their hair, referred to as The Blowout.  Lastly, Guido’s are perceived as being extremely muscular.  More muscles, means more attention from Guidette’s.  Duh.

What about the Guidette’s?  I found a nice wikiHow manual on “How to Be a Guidette”.  The list says that a young lady must be confident, look glamorous, wear the tightest clothing possible, go clubbing often, shop at Juicy or AX Armani, grow hair out long, get weekly manicures and pedicures, and date a Guido as soon as possible to become a true Guidette.

What activities do both Guido’s and Guidette’s enjoy?  Easy.  Clubbing as much as possible, tanning, and working out.  These activities are staples in the Guido lifestyle.

Would you hire a cast member?

Organizations go online to search out information on people before hiring them.  It happens.  What stops the company from doing some research into the show and making a decision based off of what their character was like on TV?  It’s a reality show, so obviously this is supposed to be how they are in real life off camera.

Your decision to hire someone can’t be off of their look alone, but would your organizations dress code be a problem to them?  Non-stop fist pump party action could prove to cause issues in the workplace, especially in the morning.

Look, obviously I had fun with this, but let’s be real.  The show is crude, ridiculous, and doesn’t help the image of the featured cast members.  They may love the image and attention they are receiving, but what personal brand are they building?  Again, simple.  They use a lot of hair gel, they party hard, and they tan hard.  Oh, and don’t forget the muscles.

So, if a cast member came in from the show to interview with you, would you hire them?

If you want more information on the cast, click on the link below and read quickly about each cast member.  The descriptions aren’t long…

http://www.mtv.com/shows/jersey_shore/cast.jhtml

Would I hire a cast member?

I’ll be honest.  I don’t know much about the career aspirations of each cast member.  However, I do know that one of them DJ’s 6 nights a week, and apparently one of them is an exotic male dancer.  These are two of the older cast members, so it looks as if they’ve found their ideal Guido careers.  Both involve music, dancing, and looking good.  Perfect.

As for the rest of them, I don’t know much.  For me to feel confident hiring any of the cast, I’d need to know they would be committed to work, and partying during the week would not affect their job.  If they could meet all job related requirements, then yes, I would green light hiring one of them.

How about that for an HR answer?

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19 comments
Sam Diener
Sam Diener

Rich --- GENIOUS idea for a post.

Doug Kerken
Doug Kerken

Good post buddy. You're right, it paints a terrible image of our great little spot. I live here (in Point Pleasant, NJ) and it pains me to even go out in my own town in the Summer. Although it really makes for great people watching, which I just love to do. But let's be serious. My company is hiring, and I wouldn't dream of ever even interviewing one of these cats. Maybe for the Holiday Party. Who isn't down with a living, breathing, party favor wearing an AX shirt 2 sizes too small drinking Jaeger Bombs all night? I'm with Trish on that one. Now Rich, let's go out and "get some b#!@hes"

Royce
Royce

To piggyback on Trish's comment - there it is, I would hire them just for the holiday party. Like literally, here's $200 to come to the event, please be the entertainment. As someone who has no connection to Jersey, I have to say I find the show entertaining. If people are worried that "now everything thinks this is how all of Jersey is," I think that's not giving the audience enough credit. Sure, maybe some viewers whose intelligence is equivalent to the cast members may stereotype all of Jersey based on the show. But to everyone else it's clear that the cast is a group of charicatures paraded in front of cameras for our entertainment; cjearly devoid of any connection whatsoever to Jersey - or reality in general, for that matter.

Trish McFarlane
Trish McFarlane

Of course I'd hire The Situation. Who wouldn't want a little fist pumping at the company holiday party?!?

Michael Minichello
Michael Minichello

Rich, Too many people look for the wrong in candidates. I have always challenged my Hiring Managers to find the good and determine whether they can develop the opportunities into good. With that said, I have seen this crew in action and I am not sure there is any hope for them outside of the music, dancing, and looking good areana....and let's not forget the muscles. Michael

Fran Holm Hogan
Fran Holm Hogan

I had to wait until I stopped laughing before I could write this. Are you sure your calling really isn't in politics or the diplomatic corps? How would you ever be able to find out if any of these cast members was; "committed to work and partying during the week would not affect their job. If they could meet all job related requirements"? Besides, I don't think you would ever have to worry about making that decision. None of them seem to want a corporate job and it is unlikely you would ever see a resume from one of them. BTW, I'm Italian and I'm from NJ. I’m also not that diplomatic…..These kids are an embarrassment

@HRMargo
@HRMargo

Score! Once again you nailed some very compelling points. I would never hire based on stereotype, generational pull, or how cute and guido a candidate is. I'd hire based on a true skills match to the job, and personality match to the culture. That's not just my EEOC take, it's my gut feel and opinion. You Da man when it comes to blogging. Kudos.

Jonathan Hyland
Jonathan Hyland

Well said, Rich. This whole 'guido' thing reminds me of "Clerks 2," where one of the main characters was trying to assert that 'porch monkey' was not a racial slur. Anyway, I wouldn't hire any of them. It's not just about job requirements, it's about culture. Could you imagine trying to be a hiring manager to one these kids?

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

All this talk about Jager Bombs makes me want to go out and get a new haircut..... Point Pleasant, eh? That is up there and I'm sure you see your fair share of mohawks and blow outs. I would love to have a guido or guidette comment on this and back themselves up. Can anyone point me to a Guido CEO? #GuidoCEO (has a ring to it) HAHA, yes, let's go out and find our guidettes

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Royce, i agree. Paid entertainment, but not a paid salary is ideal. I think there is a level of scripting on the show (like 95% of all reality television), but there is a realness to the level of Dousche-baggedness these characters portray. They are over exaggerated Guido's and Guidette's but, almost everything we see on television is just a bit more exaggerated.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

OK - you're right. The Situation is must have. Haha, I LOL'd when I read this, Trish

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hi Michael - I like what you've said here about "looking for good" as opposed to just determining where people will fail. I think it's important to neutralize hiring managers and make sure they have an even balance in looking for good qualities and looking for bad. You can't just have happy hours and hear only what you want to hear, and you can't simply look for all negatives either. Please, don't forget the muscles. We don't want to start a bar fight do we?

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Fran – where in Jersey are you from? OK – I think the cast members make it known in the show that all they care about is partying and tanning. But you are right, I doubt they would be applying in. Glad you got a few chuckles from this…

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Thanks, Margo! If one of the cast members came in, and you saw their reckless life on tape, what would you do then? Of course if a stereotypical "guido" came in to interview, we might not even think twice about their life style, but if one of the cast members came in, and you could search out their ridiculous life on "Jersey Shore", you might be signing a different tune...

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Appreciate your honestly. The show is ridiculous and is painting a bad image for the entire Jersey Shore. I go to the south jersey shore and it is nothing like what's seen from the northern shore points.

Fran Holm Hogan
Fran Holm Hogan

More than a few chuckles Rich. I love the way you disguised this to read like a serious discussion LOL. You did disguise it - right? (as they say in Jersey) I'm in Wayne NJ - up north and FAR AWAY from the Jersey Shore! Born here, grew up in California and moved back here to discover that everyone says "right?" and that "Ainna" was a word (as in "it's hot ainna?) Sad to say though there are a few Guidos & Guidettes in my extended family. They don't know any wizards either but we love them anyway. So glad I discovered your blogs. I just went back and read the last five. Good stuff! Have a very Happy New Year!

Nicole
Nicole

I just want to point out that most of these guidos aren't even from Jersey. I think the majority of them are from Staten Island, two are from upstate New York, one or two are from Brooklyn, and then the guy who DJs is from Rhode Island. Yes, I know a lot about the cast members because I watch the show religiously. It's like a train wreck and I can't look away. A little mindless reality television never hurt after a long and stressful week. And apparently people pay the big bucks for the Jersey Shore Cast members. I heard that Snooki, the guidette with the epic poof, gets close to ten grand for her appearances.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

My geography is awful. My sister lives in Hoboken, which is pretty close to Guido-land. I believe you are a bit further north than she is. And a far as me disguising this post...I'll never tell. Have a wonderful 2010, looking forward to talking with you more!