4 Proxies for Talent You Should Stop Using

1) Alma Mater

Want to know where to find some of the best and most talented college grads in America?

2) Years of Experience

Years of experience is another knee-slapper, such as when tech companies want someone with 10 years of Hadoop experience (Hadoop came out five years ago). More seriously, listing the required experience with a temporal metric is what happens when hiring managers don’t take the time to specify exactly what they want the new hire to be able to do.

3) Degree

Take it from a college professor: having a degree guarantees only that you paid a lot of money to sit in a chair. Don’t get me wrong: a great many decidedly deserve all of the recognition that a degree implies, but treating a degree-holder as having achieved a level of something-or-other is a mistake. College isn’t for everyone, and colleges sometimes fail to give students struggling with life issues the support and resources necessary to cross the finish line (I’ve seen several strong students that you would love to hire forced to drop out because of such issues).

4) Demographics

Need I say more?



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Orin Davis

Orin Davis

Self-actualization engineer who makes workplaces great places to work. PI at Quality of Life Lab (www.qllab.org). Consultant. Professor. Startup Advisor.