Have you ever heard of the word scrapper?
Scrappers are fighters according to the dictionary. They are aggressive competitors. Ones who are always ready or eager for a fight, argument or contest.
Regina Hartley Human Resources Manager of UPS, has spent 25 years in the industry. She has worked in talent acquisition, succession planning and learning and development. She also dealt with employee relations and communications. In all her years in the industry, she has seen how the right candidates can astound you if given the chance
According to her, you will see two types of resumes in talent acquisition. First are the IV league graduates with their perfect resumes. These ‘silver spoons’ belong to the privileged class with strong networks.
And then, there’s the scrappers—graduates from state colleges with a thread of odd jobs in their resume. These scrappers are survivors of tremendous challenges. They are fighting to live and make something of himself.
If you had a choice, who would you choose for the job post?
For Regina, the answer is easy. Those who don’t always look good on paper may just be the best person you are looking for.
Scrappers are usually the ones who have purpose and passion. They understand what it is to struggle, to go through every hurdle to get to where they are at the moment. When given the chance, they will focus their energies on achieving the goals they set.
Scientists have discovered a remarkable phenomenon called Post Traumatic Growth. It is common to think of scrappers as highly susceptible to traumas and dysfunctions. Situations such as extreme poverty, abandonment, loss of a loved one can leave its marks.
A study administered to 698 children with severe cases of trauma showed interesting results. Among these children, one-third grew up and led successful and productive lives. They were all fit and healthy too.
A recent study also showed 30% of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs had dyslexia. Dyslexics have trouble reading, despite normal intelligence. Most of them also had difficulty keeping up in traditional schools. They have problems with spelling and writing. They also have challenges pronouncing and sounding out words. Understanding texts is also a problem.
Instead of viewing it as a ‘disability’, these entrepreneurs focused on other skills. They became better listeners and paid greater attention to detail. They took their challenges and reinvented themselves. They embraced their trauma. And it helped them develop the muscle and grit required to be successful.
Take Steve Jobs for example. His parents gave him up for adoption. He dropped out of college just after a semester. He then worked for Atari and a few other odd jobs. He went to India for a year to find himself. And to top it off, he also had dyslexia.
His resume would have shown him as an inconsistent man who couldn’t hold a job.
But still, he went on to be the founder of the most recognizable brands today, Apple.
Scrappers also know the value of relationships. They meet people along the way who help them discover their potential. These people also chose to invest in their success through mentorship.
They understand the value of humor too.
It’s laughter that keeps them optimistic. It’s humor that changes their perspectives and gives them the courage to push through the hard times.
Companies are now more committed to diversity. They now recognize the need to support these so-called scrappers. More and more grants and funding are now available for those who are talented but struggling. And most of them get absorbed into the company as soon as they graduate.
So the next time you get the chance to choose between a silver spoon and a scrapper, who would you choose?
Go for the scrappers.
Watch Regina’s Ted Talk and learn more about why the best hire might not have the perfect resume.
Courtesy of CareerXFactor, Discover your own career’s X Factor.
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