Why You Shouldn’t Hire Harvard Graduates | Ep. #618

In episode #618, Eric and Neil discuss why Ivy League graduates aren’t always the best marketers. Tune in to hear why you shouldn’t hire a Harvard grad.


  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: Why You Shouldn’t Hire Harvard Graduates
  • [00:35] People who come from Ivy League schools are smart and they are not saying not to hire them.
  • [01:20] What you need to do, is hire people based on how creative they are and their past work.
  • [01:38] If a candidate can turn a dud into a stud, they can probably do great work for you.
  • [01:55] People who go to good schools are good at following instructions. When it comes to getting creative and thinking outside the box, they may not be able to do that.
  • [02:40] When Eric was 22, there was a Harvard grad who was in the same position as Eric. The Harvard grad appeared to have no chutzpah and would come in and only do what he was told. This motivated Eric to work hard and be creative.
  • [03:25] Affiliate marketers are the most creative, because they don’t operate based on rules.
  • [04:15] People that operate outside boundaries and make difficult numbers work, are often successful affiliate marketers.
  • [04:36] That’s all for today!
  • [04:38] Go to Singlegrain.com/Giveway for a special marketing tool giveaway!

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The post Why You Shouldn’t Hire Harvard Graduates | Ep. #618 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: And today we are going to talk about why you shouldn't hire Harvard graduates. So, Neil, what are your thoughts around Harvard graduates?

Neil Patel: People that come from Harvard, Stanford, or any Ivy league school or top school out there, they're smart, and we're not saying that you should never work with them, we're saying ... and I've hired some of them in the past, and I will hire them in the future, what we're not saying is don't ever hire someone who comes from Ivy league school. More so, a lot of people base their decision on hiring people specifically from marketing on things like what companies they worked for in the past, how big those companies grew.
Such as "Oh, you were in Airbnb and you helped them with marketing?" Well Airbnb was on a rocket ship of growth trajectory before you even got there. So it's like yeah, just because you worked there, just because you came from Harvard, doesn't mean jack shit.
What you need to be doing is hiring people based on how creative they are, and specifically on the stuff that they've done. Don't look out for people who came from the best schools, or look at people who've worked at the best jobs, look for people who have been in really ugly industries and they've been able to do creative marketing techniques to cause them to grow. Because if you can turn a dud into something that looks amazing through marketing then you can do that for your business that's not that ugly.

Eric Siu: A dud into a stud.
So here's my anecdote, and again this is only one example. So Harvard, generally when you have people that are really smart going into these good schools they're very good at following instructions. I'm generalizing here, but a lot of the people that I've seen do really well in school, not just Harvard, they've gone to good schools, they are good at following instructions. And when they have something laid out in front of them, they're very good at following the rules, and it's very, well, let's say, templatized, right?
But when it comes to talking about creative, talking about someone that can come up with different ideas to really move the needle, in general the ones that I've worked with are the ones that maybe didn't come from such a prestigious university, maybe they're jumping around. It's kind of the road less traveled, and those are the ones that typically work well.
And one anecdote I can give you is I remember when I first started working, this actually inspired me to work really hard, we had a ... I was about 23 years old, and what happened was there was a Harvard guy doing the same exact job that I was doing. And I looked at him and people would make fun of him at work and then he was just this really smart guy, had this great degree. And he just had no confidence, and he would just come in and do his job and that was it, right?
So that at least motivated me, and that little anecdote, well, that pushes me to continue to be creative and continue to study hard. Just thinking back to that tells me that even though you go to a good school doesn't necessarily mean that even though you're good at following the rules, you're necessarily going to do really well.

Neil Patel: Eric, let me ask you a question, I bet you were going to have the same response. What marketers are the most creative ones? If you had to pick an industry? Like we go to a conference each year ...

Eric Siu: Affiliate.

Neil Patel: There you go.

Eric Siu: Yeah.

Neil Patel: And with affiliate marketers, why are they the most creative out there?

Eric Siu: Because they'll wind around, they'll do whatever it takes to ... They don't operate on rules, that's the main thing.

Neil Patel: Yeah, with affiliate marketers, they don't even have their own product. In most cases they're promoting someone else, and you have to figure out how to make your marketing profitable enough to get a commission on promoting someone else's company, a tiny slither.

Eric Siu: Yes.

Neil Patel: To make the numbers work.

Eric Siu: So if they can do that, those are some of the best people you can end up hiring, because you have to be really creative, and they will also skirt around the rules ... sometimes too around the rules, where they'll make a brand look bad. But that doesn't mean they're not creative at the end of the day.
So people that operate outside of the boundaries and they have to make really difficult numbers work, like affiliate marketers, that works really well. And the reason I said porn by the way, as an industry, is because it's a very creative industry just based on the studies I've seen in the past, and based on the sheer amount of bandwidth that they have hitting their websites. So you guys can go look at some of those studies as well.
But Neil, any final thoughts.

Neil Patel: That's it from my end. If you want to check out our daily giveaway, go to singlegrain.com/giveaway, and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Speaker 1: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow right here on Marketing School.

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