Elon Musk famously dismissed traditional schooling as a means of developing and attracting elite talent, claiming that “college is primarily for enjoyment, not for learning.” While businesses throughout the country rely on academic degrees to locate people, Musk is a firm believer in the importance of talent above degrees. As a result, his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, attract and keep some of the world’s greatest minds—no college degree required. The hiring procedure, on the other hand, necessitates two things, which boil down to one: the two-hand test.
The two-hands test is used to screen individuals who do not have typical gatekeepers such as degrees. Rather, it certifies applicants through first-hand experience and examination of hands-on competence. It’s a stunningly simple procedure that was built for simplicity and efficacy, just like any well-engineered process or product, and it can be used by any company to uncover top talent.
1. First-hand knowledge
Though there is great discussion over the importance of experience versus education, Musk believes that experience is more important than education. Experience, on the other hand, is a sort of education. In many respects, it is the best education available. In reality, a report from the Association of American Colleges and Universities proves Musk’s idea inadvertently.
According to the AACU report, three-quarters of hiring managers believe a college education is necessary. The justification, however, was not based on a specific curriculum, but rather on the soft skills that college is thought to provide. Soft skills (such as creativity, emotional intelligence, or resilience) are notoriously difficult to judge in an interview, because their growth is not limited to college courses or student life, but rather to real-world experiences.
To put it another way, education encompasses not just what is taught in a classroom, but also what is learnt via firsthand experiences. As a result, first-hand experience is valued as a technique of identifying people with extensive knowledge. Consider which candidates have the first-hand experience required to hit the ground running, or at the very least require the least amount of training to be successful in the post, when examining applications.
2. Hands-on testing
Elon Musk is no stranger to applying engineering techniques and strategies to other aspects of his business—and his life. It’s so important to the billionaire that he lives in a $50,000 little cottage. Candidate testing, like rigorous product testing, is a function of product development.
True, a job interview is a test, but instead of analysing a candidate’s abilities, many firms simply assess a candidate’s information. This, however, is a fatal error because there is a significant difference between memorising and regurgitating knowledge and genuinely understanding how something works. Put applicants to the test with highly relevant hands-on testing to overcome this challenge.
Give tests (e.g., a task or assignment) that most closely reflect what the role may encounter to successfully test candidates. Ensure that the scope of the exam is confined to the resources required to execute the test or task in order to obtain an accurate measurement of one’s capacity to efficiently fulfill the tasks of the position.
It is undeniably exhausting to go through the hiring process. As a result, the faster you can sift through and limit down applications, the sooner you can interview, conduct hands-on testing, and find the needle in the haystack—just like Tesla and SpaceX do. Because future-proofing your company entails more than just discovering unusually effective strategies to keep employees (especially as the Great Resignation surges on). But it’s also important to have a good hiring plan in place to attract and hire new staff quickly so that your company can go back to work.
The 2-Hands Test might work out well.
A lot of people think that when you are hiring a worker, you need to look at the degrees that they have. We are here to tell you that this type of thinking is old school, and the new way to look at people is to use the 2-hands test. In this blog post, we told you exactly what the 2-hands test is, what Elon Musk does when he uses the 2-hands test and how you can use this 2-hands test as well in your company.