Author: Jim Carroll, Chairman, BBH London

Like many people I was amused by Rory Sutherland’s recent piece in The Spectator, in which he suggested it might be a smart strategy for Agencies to recruit graduates with lower class degrees.

Sutherland argues that there is no evidence that ‘recruits with first-class degrees turn into better employees than those with thirds’.¬†Graduates with lower class degrees are in fact undervalued by the market and as a result they’re less expensive and more loyal.

I thought I might contribute my own perspective to the debate and indeed my own trusty Recruitment Tool:

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In my many years of working with Strategists, I have established that very smart people can reduce highly complex conundra into quite simple challenges. In this respect they have something in common with the less-than-intelligent, who see the world simply despite its many sophistications.

I have also observed that those with moderate-to-medium levels of intelligence can perceive complexity in every aspect of every problem.

This has led me to conclude that the only useful Strategists are fools or geniuses….


1 Response

  1. but nobody compared them based on the intelligence. since you’re reffering to strategist, I may add that a less diligent student may have been involved in a lot more activities outside uni, building what I like calling social inteligence. hemay not be able to make a MS Excel pie chart, but he can write damn well or simply make connections the other can’t; one of the reasons here being the simple fact he had time to read more literature, TIME magazine or play in a band, things the first category, the first-class degrees, didn’t had time for.
    of course, there are exceptions, this is not a rule, I was just pointing out the aspect from the perspective of the time spent for studying or other things that might help the individual become, at some point, a better professional.

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