Innovation Blog

Innovating Hiring:  Prior Experience Will Disqualify You!

By Shlomo Maital

 My friend and colleague Y. has no college degree. Yet he held high-level positions as a software engineer with market-leading Check Point, started a website-building company and sold it for a good price, and is now involved with two additional startups. 

  Here is his secret for success:  Hire people with no prior experience or qualifications.

  How precisely does that work?

   Y. himself is what is known as an auto-didact (self-taught).  He loved computers and taught himself programming and programming languages.  He did this out of passion and because he did not like formal classroom learning.  He then realized that there is a whole population of people like him, who are given no chance because HR officials play it by the book, hire only those who fit perfectly into the square holes of degrees, experience and training.  So Y. set out to hire ONLY people like him, with fire in their bellies, dying for an opportunity to prove themselves, rejected everywhere and grateful for a chance.  And it works wonders.  In his successful startup, he hired ONLY such people.  And the results were startling.

   So, innovators, HR managers, startup hopefuls – when you begin to hire people and build your organization, scrap your 800-page HR manual and instead, look for people who are truly passionate about what they do, who for various reasons have not acquired formal degrees and experience, who seek only a chance to prove themselves, give them a probationary period and try them.  Some may fail. Many will not.  You will save money – they’re willing to work for a lot less than MIT graduates.  Do not hire people who expect YOU to be grateful to have them, and demand company cars, perks, and on-the-job massages, but instead, hire those who are truly grateful you gave them a chance when others wouldn’t and return that gratitude in creative hard work.