We have been figuring out ways of recognizing talent inside and outside organizations through several stories in this series. Recognition of talent is crucial to hiring and development of people. It isn’t always straightforward because some talents like the one we saw in Salil’s case aren’t obvious during interviews. People themselves may not be aware of their talents and may have ended up in their jobs by accident or may have been swayed by some other considerations.
Here is a primer
1. Shun nouns and adjectives:
Figure out what you really mean by ‘talent’. Shun ‘catch all’ skills or traits like ‘communication skills, hard working, resourceful, networker’. These are nouns or adjectives. Consider verbs like “planning a project”, “improving a process”, ‘writing a story”, “evaluating people”, “framing a problem”, “framing actions” It is easier to ask for examples of these and evaluate the answers to compare with what you need. Also consider what the candidate might need to be doing after one or two years on the job. Read the post
2. Look deeper into your needs:
There are two kinds of skills. There are basic skills like coding, selling, writing, planning….. Then their applied skills like using computers, using Photoshop or SAP. The latter type of skills are about specific tools or being used to working on a specific platform. Avoid the mistake of looking only at the latter of the above two types of skills. You may know how to use MSWord well, but that doesn’t mean that you can write well. Read the post
Talented people are passionate about doing things which utilize their talents. They forget everything else when they get going. They don’t waste time. They don’t wait for formal instructions. They simply start doing things. Observe them. Read the post
4. Ask & listen:
He was excited and proud as he talked. He was passionate. He had no experience. But he clearly had taken on a challenge. He had gone into details. He had identified root causes and solution to at least one of them by talking to his colleagues. He also got the solution implemented. Talented people put their soul in their work and they take on challenges. So ask and listen to them. Read the post
5. Be ready:
Talented people are restless and they try to improve their knowledge and skills all the time. They put in extra efforts for this. They do it on their own. It may seem abnormal and paranoid of them. Read the post
6. Draw them out (you will need someone as talented)
Talented people love appreciation of finer aspects of their work. They also love informed criticism. These are their rewards. They thrive on such rewards. Read the post
7. Waste their time and observe (you don’t need any talent to waste their time, but you do need talent to observe)
Talented people hate wasting their time in doing things that are not or can’t be done well. Waste their time and sense their frustration. Read the post
8. Ask them & listen
Talented people seek help in order to do a much better job. Ask them about their teachers, trainers, instructors, coaches, mentors. You will learn plenty. Read the post
9. Look at who gather around them
Talented people recognize talent in others even if the talent is unrelated to their own area. Yes, they have a knack of knowing and and a yen for sticking around with talented people. But you need some talent to recognize all this yourself Read the post
So we need to look for certain behaviors, we need to ask pertinent questions, we need to shut up, we need to listen & observe, and we need to have some talent ourselves for us to recognize talent.
Does your hiring process and your development process incorporate the above?
A very systematic program for developing your own talent of leadership and recognizing talent in your people is in the book ‘Lead to Regenerate‘
Interactive coaching based programs are available via our web site at www.learning-leaership.com
I help people and businesses in developing themselves through Regenerative Leadership coaching. See Learning Leadership for web based programs. You can undergo self learning program in my book Lead to Regenerate. Do keep in touch with me either here, or on Google+ , onTwitter, or through my blog Regenerate!
I consult in Branding, Communications, and User Experience Design.