We’ve all applied for jobs we thought were just the right fit, but for whatever reason, many times unbeknownst to us, we’re not chosen, even for a preliminary interview. We feel confident that we’ve got the right stuff and would definitely excel in the organization. Even if we are not the perfect candidate on paper, when it comes to taking our skill set and applying it to the new role, we tend to be the underdogs that managers later refer to as “the best hire I ever made!”
I recently had the chance to listen to what might be the most eloquent discussion about why perfect candidates are chosen and underdogs are passed over: TED talk titled, “Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume” by Regina Hartley, Human Resource Director at UPS. Before I invested my 10:23 with this talk, the synopsis had me sold!
“Given the choice between a job candidate with a perfect resume and one who has fought through difficulty, human resources executive Regina Hartley always gives the “Scrapper” a chance. As someone who grew up with adversity, Hartley knows that those who flourish in the darkest of spaces are empowered with the grit to persist in an ever-changing workplace. “Choose the underestimated contender, whose secret weapons are passion and purpose,” she says. “Hire the Scrapper.”” .
As someone whose grandfather led the “Personnel” department of a defense contractor and whose mother recruits programmers, there have been plenty of conversations about the reasons why certain candidates are selected over others. Unfortunately, the reasons we believe a company should hire us tend to be vastly different than what we hope they will be.
Think of your own career journey: the times you’ve gotten the job and the times you didn’t even make the first round. Were you the perfect candidate? The “Scrapper?” Or somewhere in-between? In today’s world of resume scanning recruitment systems and computer aided assessment, following Regina Hartley’s advice might just be the best way to find the right candidate for the next position you need to fill.
Based on my own assessment and that of my parents, I am definitely a “Scrapper,” and a darn good one at that. Actually, I’m proud to wear the badge! It always seems to feel more rewarding to come from behind, surprise the competition, and exceed expectations.
So, I say to all of you involved in the hiring process, take a better look at the “Scrappers!” They may just be the best hires you’ll ever make. Enjoy and share the Ted Talk: http://go.ted.com/CDqb