Who Would You Hire First?

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 17 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

My Circuits teacher, Mark Lusk, made this point the other day:

Lazy Industrious

Given the above table, what order would you hire the listed people (Lazy Idiot, Lazy Genius, Industrious Idiot, Industrious Genius)?

One might think this would be the solution:

Lazy Industrious
Idiot 4 3
Genius 2 1

…potentially switching 2 and 3 around. But this would be incorrect! The actual order is:

Lazy Industrious
Idiot 3 4
Genius 1 2

Now you may be thinking, What?! Why would I want to hire the industrial idiot last? Better yet, why would I want to hire the lazy genius first?

Think of it this way. The industrial idiot is going to work hard (he’s industrious, remember?). But he’s going to work hard at the wrong thing…or he’s going to do it wrong (he’s an idiot). Working hard toward something that isn’t a company goal is bad. Even worse then doing the wrong thing half-assed.

Now, for the lazy genius. Why wouldn’t you want a smart person working hard? Because there’s always better way to do it. And that’s what the lazy genius will find: the lazier (and presumably easier) way to accomplish the task. Less time means more money saved.

Simple really.