Business Owner

TED@UPS: Why an imperfect job candidate may be the perfect hire


Regina Hartley makes a case for the "scrapper." Should you do the same?

Imagine you were a hiring manager for an up-and-coming Silicon Valley startup. While sifting through stellar résumé after stellar résumé, you stumbled upon one that catches your eye – and for all the wrong reasons. The prospective hire was an adopted child and a college dropout. He was a compulsive job-hopper. Last year, this individual took a lengthy sojourn to India. And to top it off, he had dyslexia. Would you hire this man?

Never underestimate the job candidate whose most prominent qualities are passion and purpose. 

His name was Steve Jobs.

According to UPS Human Resources executive Regina Hartley, there are two distinct hiring candidates: the flawless, well-educated "silver spoon," and the gritty, less-than-perfect "scrapper" who has faced – and overcome – tremendous adversity. Given the choice between the two, Hartley strongly considers the scrapper.

A hallmark of many great leaders

In her TED@UPS talk, Hartley explains that scrappers, propelled by the idea that they, and they alone, are in control of their destinies, embody the kind of work ethic in many of the world's greatest leaders. What's more, Hartley says, these seemingly imperfect job candidates have the potential to be among your company's strongest assets.

Watch Hartley's TED Talk now to hear more about her hiring insights and how those who flourish in the darkest of spaces learn the grit and determination to succeed in an ever-changing workplace.


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