Hiring the Right Person
Malcolm Gladwell presented at the New Yorker conference on the Challenge of Hiring in the Modern World. As usually, he provides some great thoughts. I wrote on Hiring the Right Workers
The job market is an inefficient market. There are many reasons for this including relying on specification (this job requires a BS in Computer Science – no Bill Gates you don’t meet the spec) instead of understanding the system. Insisting on managing by the numbers even when the most important figures are unknown and maybe unknowable
. Using HR to find the right person to work in a process they don’t understand (which reinforces the desire to focus on specifications instead of a more nuanced approach). The inflexibility of companies: so if a great person wants to work 32 hours a week – too bad we can’t hire them. And on and on.
Malcolm Gladwell doesn’t use the same language but I think he says many of the same ideas: “Insisting on managing by the numbers even when the most important figures are unknown and maybe unknowable.” etc. This idea he frames as a mismatch problem.
Related: Hiring: Silicon Valley Style – People are Our Most Important Asset – Malcolm Gladwell Synchronicity – Hiring, Does College Matter? – Interviewing and Hiring Programmers – Gladwell (and Drucker) on Pensions