What can we learn from the 1914 Voyage of Endurance?


Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctica expedition of 1914-1917 is one of the most incredible adventure stories of all time. The intention was to cross the Antarctic continent from one coast to the other via the South Pole. Unfortunately, the expedition never set foot on continental Antartica though it did manage to survive the loss of their ship in the middle of the Antarctic ice pack at a time when there was no chance of contacting the outside world, let alone of being rescued.

So what makes this story so remarkable and what’s it got to do with recruitment?

Throughout the ordeal, no-one died. There were no stories of people eating others and no mutiny and this was not luck. Shackleton hired good fits. He found the right men for the job and when you fill an organisation with people who fit, success happens.


Shackleton started by making sure the advert in the London Times attracted the right people. It did not say…..

“Men Needed For Expedition – Minimum 5 years experience – must know how to hoist a mainsail – come work for a fantastic captain” 

IT LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE THE HEADLINE ABOVE!  Shackleton could have hired the most expensive crew money can buy but if they weren’t the right people for this mission, their survival would not have been a foregone conclusion.

The goal is to hire those people who are passionate about your WHY, your purpose, cause or belief and who have the attitude that fits your culture.  Simply hiring people with a solid CV does not guarantee success. The best engineer at Apple for example, would most likely be miserable if he worked at Microsoft. Both are highly experienced, however each does not fit the culture of the other’s company.

At Untapped Potential our process tests for competence, commitment and cultural fit – all of which are equally important when it comes to recruiting the right people into an organisation – and it has double the success rate of traditional interviewing.

To view a short 3 minute video of how our process works from the client and candidate perspective, please see the short video below:-

Talk to me today if you’re looking for a different approach to recruitment that really works.