David Ogilvy on hiring: “If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants,”

Ogilvy on hiring people smaller than us:

In his biography, Ogilvy alludes to the fact that sent a pack of Babushka dolls (also known as Russian nesting dolls, or matryoshka-dolls) to his key leaders who are in charge of making hiring decisions.

The idea of sending a nesting doll, where each subsequent version is smaller than the previous one, is a powerful visual mnemonic.

In the corporate world, risk aversion and hiring in their image is a reason for this trend of not hiring someone who may on paper seem different and hence going against the grain.

The focus of recruiters and hiring managers is on matching the keywords in a resume and coming as close to a perfect candidate as possible. Even though perfection does not exist and is a futile effort, checking boxes and hiring someone in their image seems to be the order of the day.

Of course, there may be a few companies where hiring such “misfits” still happens but in traditional Global 5000 companies, many hiring managers and recruiters feel the risk-reward ratio is not in their favor.

Ogilvy on Hiring - Babushka or Russian Nesting Dolls

For example, who do you think a recruiter will position in front of the hiring manager: A) A high school valedictorian, an ivy league college graduate, who worked in big corporations. B) Or will they dare take a chance of interviewing a high school dropout who came up through perseverance and self-help and instead of a stellar track record in blue-chip companies has taught elementary school and on the side contributed significantly to open source projects?

When next time your company receives a resume that is out of the ordinary, do not discard based on keyword ranking. Instead, look at the person behind the resume and their holistic experience.  Maybe one of those people will reinvent the future arch of your company.

Whatever you do, don’t settle for lesser clones.

Agree? Disagree? Do you know of examples where companies are taking risks on unconventional candidates?  Or do they make sayings of Ogilvy on hiring come true? Please share your thoughts.

To read more such stories, please visit Inspiware Wisdom Stories.


0 0 vote
Article Rating