Hiring For The Antarctic, Or: Ask For What You Want

Antarctic Expedition

When I revamped my hiring process this spring, I had to change so many things. First and foremost was my attitude about who I wanted on my team. I then had to decide how I would attract those types of people.
I learned about the attitude I should have in hiring from another book I have referenced before, Start With Why by Simon Sinek.

One of the author’s themes in this book is that you have to appeal to people who believe what you believe.
Simon shares a story that demonstrates the right way to recruit.

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In 1914, an adventurer named Ernest Shackleton set out with a team of 27 men to cross the Antarctic continent, which had never before been done. They didn’t accomplish their mission. After many storms and being trapped in the ice on their boat for 10 months, they traveled hundreds of miles in their life boats to find help.

Eventually they were saved, and all of them survived the ordeal. Simon, in his book, says that this wasn’t luck, but an example of a great hiring process in action.
Before the expedition, Shackleton ran an ad in the London Times for his crew. He didn’t offer benefits. Simon says that he didn’t offer paid time off or amazing pay. This is what Shackleton’s ad said:

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“Men wanted for Hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”

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If you advertise for the right type of people, the others will weed themselves out.
Ernest Shackleton got the right men for the job because that’s who he asked for.

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Who do you want on your expedition? Are you asking the right questions?

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One Comment on “Hiring For The Antarctic, Or: Ask For What You Want”

  1. Crystal Soptich Lemme says:

    Still love Shakleton’s ad.


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