Late last year, Regina Hartley gave a TED talk that quickly received widespread acclaim, titled “Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume”. While this would seem to go against all training and preparation for many people attempting to climb up the corporate ladder, Hartley soon provides her reasoning.
Scrappers vs. Silver Spoons
Hartley suggests that it is easy to sort resumes and candidates into two main categories, “Silver Spoons” and “Scrappers”.
Individuals classed as Silver Spoons tend to have many opportunities given to them, usually due to coming from a higher socioeconomic background, being able to afford private education, entrance to selective universities and ample connections to provide work experience and steady employment.
So-called Scrappers, on the other hand, are those who have had to fight against the odds and faced great hardship to receive any of the same opportunities. This could mean that they may have experienced financial difficulties, dysfunctional family situations, serious illnesses, a learning disability or any combination of these factors. All this may result in a resume that may not have the benefit of possessing the same level of perceived prestige and polish as their peers.
When hiring an employee, it’s instinctive to give preference to the more impressive experience, recommendations and a higher level of education – both may be qualified, but there’s a reason that emphasis is placed on the quality of one’s resume. However we encourage you to consider that when it comes to potential hires for your business, sometimes all that glitters is not gold, or in this case, silver.
Why Scrappers are a great choice
Studies have shown that there is a counter-intuitive phenomenon called post-traumatic growth, which is considered to be a positive psychological change as a result of some kind of struggle, stress or crisis in an individual’s life. These individuals are not only able to cope well in the hard times, but are more able to enjoy the good times, making these people worthy assets when dealing with adverse situations. To simplify, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, not to mention more employable.
This is where those three billionaires come back into play. Steve Jobs dropped out of university after a single semester and struggled with dyslexia. J. K. Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book primarily in a café, juggling the recent passing of her mother, a divorce and caring for her infant daughter. Oprah Winfrey lived in rural poverty and was a victim of childhood abuse and racial adversity until she got her start on television at the age of 29.
All of these people were Scrappers who overcame their circumstances in order to achieve success, and all fostered billion-dollar empires. It’s not uncommon for people who’ve come from backgrounds of hardship to find creative ways to forge their ways despite the odds. Hartley cites a 2010 study exposing that 35% of successful U.S. entrepreneurs suffered from dyslexia, but tended to far excel in oral communications and problem solving, compared to their peers.
The key to business success
While this may make a strong case against the Silver Spoons of the employment pool, Hartley says the key to a successful company is diversity, and a mixture of both backgrounds in employees. After all, Silver Spoons still had to get through their university careers and their results are a reflection of the work they put in.
Successful businesses encourage diversity in order to get a variety of perspectives, which can help them become better-rounded in their approach. The top 50 companies who are the most active in diversifying their business were reported to have outperformed the prestigious S&P 500 by 25%, according to DiversityInc, a consulting publication for improving employee diversity in business.
So when it comes to hiring your next employee, why not take a chance on the Scrapper? They might have more to offer your business than you think.
While you’re looking for the best employee, why not make sure the rest of your business finances are in order? Start with checking that your business credit card has great value rates and features with CANSTAR.