If you’ve ever had the opportunity to sift through a pile of resumes as you consider who to hire, then you know the feeling in your stomach as you try to make the right hiring decision. Who do you hire? Which one will fit your company culture? Who will succeed? Will you pick the right candidate?

While listening to a TED talk recently, the presenter proposed a very interesting question: would you hire a person who hadn’t finished college, job-hopped frequently, took a year off to meditate in India, and had typos typical of dyxlexia on their resume?

While we’d all have loved to hire Steve Jobs, there are a lot of other successful entrepreneurs out there with similar-reading resumes. In Regina Hartley’s November 2015 TED talk about new hires and resumes, she pointed out that potential team members’ resumes are stories that give deep insights into their life, their work ethic, and employee motivation. In other words, she can get a pretty accurate idea of who can and will succeed in their company’s culture just by reading their resume.

Employee motivation is influenced by your past

Regina proposed that there were, in essence, two types of resumes: the “Silver Spoons” and the “Scrappers.” The “Silver Spoons” are comprised of people whose lives are engineered towards success: they went to the best schools, they had amazing opportunities given to them, and they succeeded quite handily. On the other hand, the “Scrappers” may not have attended the best schools or had amazing opportunities given to them, but they made the best of any situation in which they found themselves. Their resumes apparently showed a dogged refusal to quit and a drive to succeed despite harsh life circumstances.

They don’t think they are who they are in spite of adversity, they know… who they are because of adversity. They embrace their trauma and hardships as key elements of who they’ve become, and know that without those experiences, they might not have developed the muscle and grit required to become successful. – Regina Harley

And it affects your future

Looking at these two kinds of personalities, which has the employee motivation that would succeed in your company culture? We’d definitely want the personality who was driven to succeed, no matter the circumstances! It’s these kinds of dogged personalities that add tremendous value to any organization. It’s these same individuals who rise above the odds and achieve wild levels of success.

Regina Hartley stated that it was her preference to take a chance on a “Scrapper”:

Scrappers are propelled by the belief that the only person you have full control over is yourself. When things don’t turn out well, Scrappers ask, “What can I do differently to create a better result?” Scrappers have a sense of purpose that prevents them from giving up…. – Regina Hartley

Based on all of this, Regina’s conclusion of taking the time to at least interview the “Scrapper” makes complete sense. After all, if their resume has shown a determination to succeed and improve, isn’t that candidate at least worth talking to? We’d say so – because just think what kind of an impact that grit will have on the rest of your team’s motivation and morale.

Would you take the time to interview someone with a strong resume, even if they hadn’t gone to the “right” schools? Be sure to leave a comment below, then follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more great content.

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