Malcolm Gladwell To Wharton Conference: Hire More Tortoises!

Malcolm Gladwell touted the virtues of the tortoise over the hare when hiring during his keynote address at the Wharton People Analytics Conference.

During his keynote address at Wharton People Analytics Conference, The New Yorker‘s Malcolm Gladwell touted the virtues of choosing a tortoise over a hare during the hiring process, according to a staff report from Knowledge@Wharton.

During his opening remarks, Gladwell referred to one of his colleagues as a “neurotic tortoise.” And while it might seem like a negative thing, Gladwell quickly pointed out it was quite the opposite.

He played a part of an interview with this colleague, Sheelah Kolhatkar, in which she refers to her time as a hedge fund analyst as extremely stressful and uncomfortable.

[uam_ad id=”51712″]


“It required making quick decisions about what to do with other people’s money, and I’m a very cautious, careful, thoughtful person,” she said.

However, he said, human resources departments often avoid hiring slow and careful workers in favor of ones who more quickly come to a decision, usually by using less detailed analysis.

This approach, according to Gladwell, often overlooks the fact that some positions require mastering complex problems with little or no room for error.

Kolhatkar is “unbelievably dogged,” he said. “She goes back four, five, six, times to talk to people; she bangs on doors and doesn’t give up.”

Read more about the approach at Knowledge@Wharton by clicking here.

[uam_ad id=”52088″]

Top photo credit: Are W The Tortoise and the Hare via photopin (license)

Stay Connected, Stay Informed

Subscribe for great stories in your community!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.