Why The Hottest New Leadership Talent May Not Appear On Your Recruitment Radar Screen
Welcome To CV-Hell
Every hiring season countless HR professionals sally forth with one single minded goal: find those rough diamonds, that potential future leader, those innovative game-changing talents their companies depend on to navigate the future.
Fired up by a string of coffee cups its time to do that most tedious task of all: working your way through endless piles of CV's. It is a pain to look at CV after CV and divine who might be worth a second look and who will go into the 'Thank you for applying, we wish you lots of luck' automated reply pile.
Somehow you may have a sneaky suspicion that all these CV's with their neat pictures and manicured texts don't really tell you what you need to know to make an educated decision on the individual's personality & capabilities.
Well, your hunch is correct: the truth is that most CV's are a copy of another CV' as a matter of fact type 'CV examples' into Google search and you will get 27,100,00 (yes 27 plus million!) hits in 0.30 seconds! Now that you know that most CV's are just copied from templates there is only one question left to ask: why do you even waste your time digging through the copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy of a CV hoping to find game-changing talent?.
Of Biohacking Kids & Free AI Design Sessions
While many an honest, hard-working individual is sweating his/her way through college, attentively taking notes and looking to achieve a great score to impress you with, a huge parallel world of knowledge and mastery has arisen.
This parallel world knows no degrees and certificates. This parallel world is driven by individual interest, passion and a pure sense of discovery.
Sebastian Thrun (Google Fellow, Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University) put it best when he stated: 'There is an amazing block of talent we've discovered outside the normal system'. He came to this powerful conclusion after offering a free online course in Artificial Intelligence design, which was taken up by 160,000 students from 200 countries! By chance he had tapped into an oceanic potential of creativity that had been hidden from the official education stream.
There is an underground knowledge revolution re-writing the rules: from kids learning how to splice the genes of bio-luminescent jellyfish with e.coli bacteria (making them glow in the dark, an operation that would have taken a team of specialists months to achieve just a few years ago) during an afternoon session at BioCurious in Sunnyvale, California, to young teenagers cooking at championship levels in Australia's Junior Master Chef TV show.
All these people, from biohackers, to online AI design course attendants, have one thing in common: they are accumulating true, hands-on talent and know-how, all of it unseen and unregistered by the official education and talent search system.
What's In A College Degree'? How About Not Much!
Of course this is a very divisive statement, however, lets take a closer look at it. If we take the sum total of all tertiary educational facilities in the world (estimated at 17,036 by webometrics.info) and we take into account that only the top 10% of these will have sufficient funds to hire top talent and fund cutting edge research this leaves us with a sizeable 15,330 universities and colleges teaching 2nd & 3rd class material to students who need to learn this outdated material in order to qualify for a degree they can then serve up to you in their CV.
The logical conclusion is: buyer beware! In no way am I implying that the students who graduate from the 90% non-top institutions are of ill will. I believe they have studied hard, done their best to become marketable. Sadly they have fallen prey to the illusion that the degree by itself will open the door to a great career for them' But now they are one among thousands holding a degree from 'Ho-Hum College' that won't even raise a blip on the attention-screen of a HR executive scanning CVs. More than not a degree from 'Ho-Hum College' might guarantee the CV a one-way trip into the 'round file' (aka the dustbin).
Hanging With The Hackers - Finding Game-Changing Talent Online
While the faithful thousands toil hard to attain their official degrees, learning things by heart they might never use, there is a vibrant, passionate, game-changing scene underfoot made up of people who don't much care for degrees but definitely enjoy getting the results.
They have their own intellectual watering holes, hacker spaces, blogs and online communities. It is here where some of the truly hottest new talent can be found.
Take Arduino as an example. According to their website Arduino is: an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.
OK, that explanation may make our eyes glaze over (it certainly had that effect on me) until we discover that this platform has enabled inventive individuals to create the most amazing new solutions ranging from a laser-light music organ to surveillance drones and a toy Segway knock-off. This cornucopia of engineering creativity has sparked a whole eco-system of websites and communities: sparkfun.com, arduino.cc, hackaday.com, etc, etc
Here then is the real question, isn't it time we laid the CV stacks aside for a little while and started hanging out in the spaces where naturally gifted and passionate people show us and the world what they are truly capable of. These communities are run by meritocracy, here deeds do speak louder than a thousand well polished words. No one cares if you have a degree or not, your results are what matters.
Join online watering holes, interest-driven communities and check out who is sharing what new information and project he/she has just finished and sharing with the world. These are the very people who bring ingenuity, passion, ideation and real results to the table. Send them a mail, establish a relationship and invite them for a cup of java' you might just have found that raw 10 carat diamond other CV-driven talent searchers missed'