TED Talks to the brain = coffee to our early AM selves. They’re the instant hit of wisdom you need after watching viral videos of animals doing adorable things. And now we’ve turned to them in search of guidance when it comes to all things hiring. We at Pedestrian Jobs have done the hard yards for you – read on and watch our cherry-picked choices. Plus, we’re offering 50% off your first job ad for all our new friends! Simply email us at jobs@pedestriangroup.com.au to claim. Already one of us? We still luv ya – email us for a free promo on your next job ad.

5 TED Talks to Change the Way You Think About Hiring

So we got a little deep this week in our soul/TED Talk searching. If you need some inspo to get you through the next hire/day/sad desk lunch, pop your headphones on and start listening. These 5 TED Talks will make you stop and think, and hopefully change your perspective on hiring, work and purpose. 


UPS HR executive Regina Hartley is an awesome speaker and storyteller (seriously, we’re a bit in love) with a killer message to share. She opens by talking about the two kinds of resumes she and her colleagues come across in their work: the ‘silver spoon’ and the ‘scrapper’. Both candidates are equally qualified, but their resumes tell very different stories. Hartley encourages us to look at the patchwork resume of the scrapper and see them as people whose lives may have been engineered for them to fail, but who have actually succeeded against the odds. Scrappers are problem solvers, people with a profound sense of purpose built from facing obstacles, and Hartley (a scrapper herself) encourages us to give them a chance. 

Lesson learned: Patchwork resume = interesting story/person. Interview them.

Watch it here. 


Behavioural economist Dan Ariely refers to his own experiments to prove that meaning, not money, is what motivates people most at work. He talks about the negative effect of feeling like your work is futile, and discusses the impact that acknowledging people’s performance has on their motivation. In fact, he found that ignoring performance is almost as bad as destroying people’s work in terms of negative impact on motivation. Crazy, right? 

Lesson learned: Hire people who will care, and structure their job so that they feel a sense of growth and progress within their work. 

Watch it here. 


So this is a little cheeky, but no one wants a big fat liar in their organisation, right? Watch this talk by Pamela Meyers, author of the book Liespotting, and pick up a few sneaky tips for sniffing out fibs. They are little cues (things like verbal dodging in speech, body language slips, too much detail) and yes, the examples she uses are extreme and very far from the job interview scenario, but still. She knows her shit and we don’t want any, so we’re paying attention. 

Lesson learned: If you shake your head ‘no’ while you’re trying to say ‘yes’, you might be lying. 

Watch it here. 


Writer for The New York Times David Brooks points out we’re all living a double life – one for the resume, one for the eulogy. He talks about the difference between these two parts of us, the side thirsty for success and growth, and the side that craves connection with people, and questions our purpose. It boils down to wanting to do good v. wanting to be good, which is pretty deep. 

Lesson learned: This one got us deep in the philosophical feels, so we thought we’d chuck it in here. Oh and you should always consider a candidate as a whole person, who is hopefully not evil. 

Watch it here. 


Enthusiastic and super motivating Scott Dinsmore, the founder of the Live Your Legend community, talks to the (somewhat depressing) stat that 80% of people don’t love the work they do, and how we should focus on doing work we actually enjoy, not just taking jobs to fill our resume. He encourages us to ask the question “What is the work you can’t not do?”, and to consider our unique strengths, values and experiences when making decisions about work. 

Lesson learned: It works both ways – try to find someone who’s in it for the love, not the money (so to speak). 

Watch it here.

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5 TED Talks to Change the Way You Think About Hiring

Don’t let your dream job slip you by – Love your work! 

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