Here’s a thought experiment:
Wrong way to assemble the best car
The vitality of a car comes from the interaction between its parts, rather than from their individual parts. Sum is always greater than the parts.
For a job, we seek the best candidate, not the one who matches our culture. A company may have the best sales officer, delivery officer, manager, and even members, but will not make much profit because the interaction, not the parts, is what matters.
This got me thinking about hiring.
I haven’t stopped applying for PhD because it’s a consistent challenge for me; I wish to conquer this “low-hanging fruit”. Though, I have done more than what I could possibly do in a PhD. Written more, researched more, organised more. Yet, it is just a “certification” because a consistent blog isn’t the best metric people weigh. I, for once, will definitely weigh this in my hiring decisions, because writing is the most difficult, arduous task. I invite anyone to start writing on a blank paper or screen. The best hire understands the “sum of moving parts”, hierarchical and power dynamics, and delivers exceptional value towards defined outcomes. Most organisations use HR to staff; desired outcomes are never quantified.
In all the mission statements and introductions on the websites (including potential interactions with the principal investigators) and the messy bureaucracy to pile on the candidate to start working, one thing is common. It is difficult to suss out the right candidate from the “competitive international pool of applicants”. That’s gatekeeping, because reality is completely different. Hiring decisions are made on “culturally fit” person, rather than the ideas, abilities and focus that individual gets to the “research”.
I am beyond the phase of being “embittered” because of my constant failures to align the best interests. This has taught me more about the processes to design my own unique pathways to define culturally fit individuals as a sum of moving parts to assemble the best car. Just like the linked blog post!