Derek HermanDecember 05, 2017
Topics: Candidate Experience

Brains, Beauty, or Bullish? Who Do You Hire?

A career in engineering requires high intelligence.

A career in modeling requires strong and distinguished looks.

A career in trucking requires high stamina to work long and odd hours.

But what trait is more valued above the others? It’s a diligent work ethic – being bullish.

No matter the role you’re filling, you should always look for a candidate with an uncompromising stamina.

Silver Spoons vs. Scrappers

Regina Hartley is the VP of Human Resources at UPS. She spoke on the Ted stage about two different types of candidates; Silver Spoons and Scrappers.

Silver Spoons graduate from elite schools and have been given opportunities others have not. There’s nothing against these candidates. After all, it’s a dream to work hard and achieve success so you and your family can reap the rewards of a financially comfortable life.

Silver Spoons bring a lot to the table with ideas, intelligence, and resources. But so do Scrappers.

Scrappers are the candidates who had to work from the bottom up. They have had to push harder than their Silver Spoon peers because money wasn’t readily available for higher education. Their grades may have been compromised due to working full-time so they could put themselves through school.

“They had to fight against tremendous odds to get to the same point [as the Silver Spoons].”

–Regina Hartley, VP of HR at UPS

A Silver Spoon’s resume is immaculate. It provides a strong story of someone who graduated cum laude from an Ivy League school, may have traveled abroad, holds a respectable job, and one who is well on their way to sure fire success.

A Scrapper’s resume reads a bit differently. They graduated from a community college or state school, have had many different jobs, work against the grain to hold down a position, and they push hard during times of struggle. This is the main difference between Silver Spoons and Scrappers.

When the work gets laborious, a Silver Spoon is more likely to bail out than the Scrapper. The belief that they are above working physically and mentally strenuous roles is their handicap.

Both have great qualities and complement each other in a team setting. But don’t pass over the Scrapper’s resume to the Silver Spoon’s just because of the education and experience. What a Silver Spoon lacks, the Scrapper makes up for with a hard work ethic. You have to hire a candidate for traits you cannot teach – morals and resilience.

Training is secondary but necessary for every position. You can teach anyone a trade but it’s the person who’s performing that skill that matters. Instead of focusing too much on a candidate’s background, focus first on their drive.

When you hire a candidate for the why behind their work vs. the what they do, you win, they win, and the company wins.

Derek Herman

Derek leads the Marketing Communications initiatives at Phenom People. He engages with Phenom customers to spotlight their stories in the media.

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