Do you hire for the best talent or compliance with your historic legacy?

Michal Vallo
3 min readMay 26, 2022


This quote by Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, is probably not the most famous one. But people, at least in IT, have come across it. I wonder whether this is also true for people in recruiting and HR. So if you are a recruiter, have you ever come across this quote? Or have you heard of it? And have you ever thought about implementing such an approach to recruitment in your organization?

Why these questions?

I haven’t seen this kind of thinking in recruitment in any organization yet. It surprises me, as the role of recruitment is to bring the best talent.

You can notice it in job advertisements. Most of the time, there is no information in them about why the organization needs such a role and what impact it expects. Consequently, the candidates with suitable expertise get often rejected where preferences go to the “juniors”. Could it be an unwritten rule, that the candidate must not be more experienced than their future supervisor?

You can also observe this in the interview. The interview involves questions that have little or nothing to do with the role it tries to fill or the problem organization has. And in many cases, not even with the organization itself. It is rarely about “we have this problem. How can you help us with it?” Even if the candidate was steering the job interview in this direction and quoted Jobs, it was perceived negatively. More as arrogance. What does it say about the company itself?

I am repeatedly finding in hiring interviews the lack of at least some interest in the candidates. What can they do? Can their talents bring us some benefit? And what do they need to apply it?

On the contrary, recruiters are more concerned about whether the candidate wants to work as an employee or a contractor, where all three answers are incorrect. Alternatively, they are interested in whether the candidate is based within the given city or country or is already 10 meters across the border. What does it matter that those 10 meters are still inside the European Union with free movement of people. They remain frozen in times before unification.

Bureaucracy destroys talent and creativity.

These problems are not new today; they are a legacy from the industrial past. Sadly, they are the same exactly as they were 15 years ago. It makes them all more striking to me today in the environment of knowledge-based organizations when organizations are hiring for an industrial past in the era of the creative industry.

Have you ever come across this quote from Steve Jobs? Or do you follow it in your recruitment process? What is your opinion or experience?

About the author: Michal Vallo dedicates to building human learning organizations as a precondition for Agile adoption. He shares his experience with HR departments and managers who are in desperate need of radical innovation. He has experience from both sides, which led him to create better recruitment practices and the course Agile Recruiter. Michal helps managers to understand agile techniques, benefit from their adoption and consequently radically improve organizational performance. Feel free to contact him if you need help with your HR department or agilization of your organization.



Michal Vallo

Building human organizations ( Chair in Agilia Conference / Agile Management Congress - inspiring people w/ new ideas to grow their business.