Recently at this year’s RSA Conference, our founder and CEO Winn Schwartau gave an incredible 15 minute presentation on Hiring the Unhireable. This is a topic that Winn has spoken about in the past; each time he receives praise, yet each time those he targets do little (if anything) to amend their hiring process.
Four years ago, Janet Napolitano (then Secretary of U.S. DHS) said that the government could not find enough of the people needed to secure their networks. In true Winn fashion, he called her out on that, throwing back that it was their outdated, illogical requirements for hires that stopped them from hiring good geeks. This is because “good geeks” very often have a mix of lifestyle choices and personality traits that are considered “unhireable” to government, military, or corporate organizations: on the autism spectrum, work late-night hours in solitude, alternative clothing and body modifications, smoke marijuana, socially awkward, have ADD/ADHD, are perceived as “weird” or “abnormal,” did stupid stuff in college… All things that don’t necessarily detract from their highly sought after technical skills or their ability to successfully complete a job.
This is an issue that he feels strongly about, as both he and his son have dealt with unreasonable rejection due to fitting into an “unhireable” profile. He explains his (and his son’s) background, gives solid examples for why the current system fails, and common sense fixes for the glaring problems in the hiring process now.
Listen to the short, entertaining talk below to find out Winn’s imperative for protecting nations and networks by hiring the unhireable geeks.
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