More employers should listen to Alexandr

Alexander Wang is in his 20s. He become the youngest self-made billionaire in the world at the age of 24, through his company Scale AI. He is the son of Chinese immigrants. He recently announced his key hiring principle:

Scale is a meritocracy, and we must always remain one.

Hiring on merit will be a permanent policy at Scale. 

It’s a big deal whenever we invite someone to join our mission, and those decisions have never been swayed by orthodoxy or virtue signaling or whatever the current thing is. I think of our guiding principle as MEI: merit, excellence, and intelligence.

That means we hire only the best person for the job, we seek out and demand excellence, and we unapologetically prefer people who are very smart.

We treat everyone as an individual. We do not unfairly stereotype, tokenize, or otherwise treat anyone as a member of a demographic group rather than as an individual. 

We believe that people should be judged by the content of their character — and, as colleagues, be additionally judged by their talent, skills, and work ethic.

There is a mistaken belief that meritocracy somehow conflicts with diversity. I strongly disagree. No group has a monopoly on excellence. A hiring process based on merit will naturally yield a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas. Achieving this requires casting a wide net for talent and then objectively selecting the best, without bias in any direction. We will not pick winners and losers based on someone being the “right” or “wrong” race, gender, and so on. It should be needless to say, and yet it needs saying: doing so would be racist and sexist, not to mention illegal.

Upholding meritocracy is good for business and is the right thing to do. This approach not only results in the strongest possible team, but also ensures we’re treating our colleagues with fairness and respect.

As a result, everyone who joins Scale can be confident that they were chosen for their outstanding talent, not any other reasons.

If only more companies were willing to say and implement this.

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