Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume image

Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume

Regina Hartley is a human resources expert. In her Ted Talk, she explains that the best hires might not have the perfect resume.


She breaks down the candidates into two general categories: Silver Spoon and Scrappers. Silver Spoons come up with advantages and are destined for success, whereas the Scrappers fight with odds stacked against them to get to the same opportunities.

If you think of a resume as a story, a resume filled with odd jobs can give the impression that the candidate is inconsistent, lacks focus, or is unpredictable.

And while Hartley has nothing against great education and prestigious job opportunities, her experiences with the Silver Spoon types haven’t always been pleasant. She relates to Silver Spoon employees as entitled and rejects any tasks that seem “beneath” their level of education and experience.

Hartley urges you to consider that perhaps the Scrapper’s story on the resume is about a committed struggle against obstacles—at the very least, this person deserves an interview. This candidate understands how to get through difficult obstacles with hard work and perseverance.

While I agree that there are some people that grow up with Silver Spoon advantages, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they didn’t work just as hard as their Scrapper counterparts.

And not all Scrappers work as hard to get to where they are either. When you dive deeper into candidate analysis, you’ll find that there are more than just two categories of people.

The main message of this Ted Talk is that diversity and inclusive practices are important for company growth. There’s more to a person than what appears on a resume— which is why it’s important to implement comprehensive hiring strategies that help eliminate bias.

If you want to learn about a candidate, try comprehensive behavioural interviewing. This style of interviewing allows you to gather information about a person’s past performance and behaviour on the job to evaluate if they are likely a “fit” for the role.

There are also personality and character-based evaluations you can implement during your interview process like Myers-Briggs testing. And always be sure to conduct thorough reference checks from previous employers and supervisors as they can give you an insight into the candidate’s character.

The important point is, that whether the candidate was engineered for success with the right education and job opportunities or not, the best hire is the most driven candidate who is willing to earn their title at the company.
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