Dominic Cummings’ job advert, looking for “super-talented weirdos” with “genuine cognitive diversity”, is doing the open-mouthed rounds of the broadsheets and has generated hysterical mirth on social media. But how odd is it?
The phrase “genuine cognitive diversity” is slightly troubling as it suggests a) that people are likely to fake it and b) that he’s going to be able to tell. He does mention though that if you are the wrong fit he’ll be able to spot you within a week and you’ll be out on your fake cognitively diverse ear.
Moving on. Firstly, Cummings is obsessed with data, and attributes the Tories’ recent landslide to the campaign’s use of targeted information…that explains the economics graduates (although he does graciously say you don’t necessarily have to be Oxbridge).
Secondly, he mentions “…true wild cards….people who never went to university….” At Ballou our intake features a diverse cross-section of recruits, although happily none of them “fought their way out of a hellhole” so they probably wouldn’t be of much interest to Mr Cummings, which is fine by us as we’d like to hang on to them, thank you very much.
The part that does strike a chord with us is his request for people who “want to figure out what characters around Putin might do, or how international criminal gangs might exploit holes in our border security”. Any candidate that thinks globally, obsessively follows the news, creates and substantiates theories and predictions on business and society, is going to be a hit with us. If you’ve just spent three years sweating through university and still had time to read the FT and the Wall Street Journal and have serious thoughts about the new Eastern Europe then you’re our kind of candidate (so give us a try before you hit up Dominic Cummings, please).
However, he also specifies being keen on a “Chinese-Cuban free runner from a crime family hired by the KGB”. Good luck with that one, Dominic.