Hiring the Unhireable

Hiring the unhireable: What to expect from the unhireable once you’ve hired them

Part 15 of 16

Organizations need to be able to adapt to folks that are definitely different from the current definition of ‘normal.’ So, what should HR and the politically correct people inside organizations expect?

You can expect, for those of you who have not been to DefCon and similar hacker events, some craziness. Expect it and embrace it. Turn it into a positive.

The true hacker-mind is what is often needed for today’s real world of security defense. That’s the type of behavior, that’s the type of people, that’s the type of creativity that’s generated from out of the box thinking by out of the box minds.

A Steampunk cubicle. Hyper-mess desk. Uber gaming console. Seven foot high Star Wars (or Trek, or Dr. Who) cardboard characters. What does it matter? Putting your geeks in the same work area as Corp Comm is just dumb. It’s a clash of cultures. And completely counter-productive.

Hiring the Unhireable

Unfiltered Mouths

Companies need to be aware that really, really, really good geeks can be awkward. Many do not filter their mouths. They say what they really think in a way that is comfortable to them—not to the bosses.

Many geeks say that all the bosses want to see and hear is “management porn”. Digested milquetoast PowerPoints without an ounce of tech. They will say so. To management. And then tell them what they don’t want to hear. Listen to them.

Companies have to adapt to the new type of technology-enabled people, especially the 20-somethings now that have lived and breathed CPUs since the day they were born.

They are different. Time to get over it. Execs need to get over it. Governments need to get over it. The Defense Department needs to get over all of this, and the lawyers need to stay the hell out of the way. The lawyers are the first ones to say, “No, you cannot do that.” We’ve got to get those ‘rules’ out of the way. Or, we have to instruct the lawyers, the managers, the administrators to find a way to make it work.

Make it work.

Part 14: Perks for geeks
Part 16: We can’t do it–It’s just too damn hard

Winn Schwartau is the CEO of The Security Awareness Company, the author of Information Warfare, Pearl Harbor Dot Com (Die Hard IV), and the upcoming Analogue Network Security.

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