Elon Musk’s Brilliant Hiring Strategy: How Tesla and SpaceX Uncover Top Talent

Elon Musk (Samuel Corum / Bloomberg)
Elon Musk (Samuel Corum / Bloomberg)

Elon Musk is known for debunking traditional education as a means of sourcing and finding the best talent. For him, “College is basically for fun and not for learning”. The businessman holds that skills matter more than titles. Therefore, their companies, Tesla Y Spacex, attract and retain brilliant minds without the need for a degree. According to the columnist Kelly Main medium, the hiring process requires two things, which boil down to one: the “Test of the two hands”.

What the “Two Hands Test” does is select candidates without traditional access controls such as titles. Instead, it rates them through the first-hand experience and practical knowledge test. It is a simple method that was created so that any company can use it to find the best talent.

1. First-hand experience

For Musk, experience is a form of education. And in many ways, it is the best education. In fact, a report from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), quoted by columnist Kelly Main, inadvertently demonstrates the entrepreneur theory.

The AACU study states that three-quarters of hiring managers believe that a college education is essential. However, the reason was not based on a specific curriculum, but on the “soft skills” acquired that the university is said to confer. These same soft skills (i.e. creativity, emotional intelligence, or resilience) are difficult to assess in an interview, and whose development is not isolated from the university or student life, but from real life experiences.

That is to say, education is not limited to what is taught in classrooms, but to what is learned through first-hand experiences. And for this reason, first-hand experience is sought as a means to discover talents with deep knowledge. For example, when reviewing applications, consider which candidates have the necessary first-hand experience or at least require the least amount of training to be successful in the position.

View of a Dragon capsule at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, USA, in a file photo.  EFE / CJ Gunther
View of a Dragon capsule at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, USA, in a file photo. EFE / CJ Gunther

2. Practical tests

Elon Musk has a history of applying engineering processes and strategies to other facets of his business, and his life. So much so, which is why the billionaire lives in a small $ 50,000 house.

A job interview is a test that, instead of actually examining a candidate’s capabilities, many companies simply assess their knowledge. For Musk, according to Kelly Main, this is a fatal flaw, since there is a big difference between memorizing and parroting information and really understanding how something works.

To effectively test candidates, offer them evidence (for example, a task or an assignment) that fit as much as possible to what the job itself can find. To obtain an accurate measure of each person’s ability to effectively perform the duties of the position, one must ensure that the scope of the test is limited to the resources necessary to perform the test or task.

The hiring process can be long and tiring. Because, the faster you can narrow down your candidates, the sooner you can interview, take practical tests and discover the best talent in the world. According to Main, preparing companies for the future means not only finding strange and effective ways to retain staff, but also have an effective recruiting strategy to attract and discover new employees efficiently so the business can run.


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Helen Hernandez is our best writer. Helen writes about social news and celebrity gossip. She loves watching movies since childhood. Email: Phone : +1 281-333-2229

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