Elon Musk’s Brilliant Hiring Strategy Uses ‘2-Hand Test’ Instead of Diplomas

Elon Musk discredits traditional education as a way to recruit and find the best talent, saying that “college is primarily for fun and not for learning. ‘And while businesses across the country rely on degrees as a tool to find talent, Musk believes that skills matter more than degrees. In doing so, his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, attract and retain some of the brightest minds of our time from around the world – no degrees required. But the hiring process requires two things, which boil down to one thing: the “Two Hands Test”.

What the Two Hands Test does are field candidates without traditional gatekeepers like diplomas. Instead, it qualifies applicants through first-hand experience and hands-on expertise testing. It’s insanely simple which, like any well-designed process or product, has been designed for simplicity and efficiency – and any business can use it to find top talent.

1. First-hand experience

Although there is a lot of debate around experience vs education, for Musk, it’s not just that experience matters more than education. Rather, experience is a form of education. And in many ways, this is the best education. In fact, a report from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) inadvertently proves Musk’s theory.

the AACU study found that three-quarters of hiring managers believe a college education is essential. However, the reason was not based on a specific program, but the “general skills“Acquired that the university is supposed to confer.” The same soft skills (i.e. creativity, emotional intelligence or resilience) are notoriously difficult to assess in an interview, and whose development is not isolated from college courses or student life, but real life experiences.

In other words, education is not about what is taught within the walls of a classroom, but what is learned through first-hand experiences. And for this reason, first-hand experience is sought after as a way to uncover talents with in-depth knowledge. For example, when reviewing applications, determine which candidates have the first-hand experience needed to get started, or at least require the least training to be successful in the role.

2. Practical tests

Elon Musk is used to applying engineering processes and strategies to other facets of his business and his life. So much so that this is why the billionaire lives in a $ 50,000 Tiny House. And just as extensive product testing is a function of product development, so too is candidate testing.

Of course, a job interview is a test, but rather than examining a candidate’s abilities, many companies simply try to assess a candidate’s knowledge. However, this is a fatal flaw because there is a major difference between memorizing and repeating information and actually understanding how something works. To overcome this challenge, put candidates to the test with highly relevant practice tests.

To effectively test candidates, give tests (for example, a task or assignment) that best match what the role itself may encounter. To give an accurate measure of their ability to effectively perform the duties of the position, ensure that the scope of the test is limited to the resources required to perform said test or task.

The hiring process is definitely exhausting. And so the faster you can sift through and refine candidates, the faster you can interview, deploy practice tests, and discover the needle in the haystack – the way Tesla and SpaceX uncover the world’s best talent. Because making your business sustainable doesn’t just mean finding strangely effective ways to retain staff (especially as the Great Resignation continues). But also have an effective recruitment strategy to effectively attract and discover new employees so that your business can resume operations.

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