42nd Street Company (#42stc)

Spotting for talent? Look for potential!

By on June 14, 2014

In HBR, June 2014 there is an article: 21st Century Talent Spotting – Why potential now trumps brains, experiences and ‘competencies’, by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz. See for reference: http://hbr.org/2014/06/21st-century-talent-spotting/

Key points – quoting:

  • Eras of talent spotting: 1) physical attributes; 2) intelligence, experience & past performance; 3) competences … and now: 4) potential
  • What makes someone successful today […] might not tomorrow. […] the question is not whether your company’s employees and leaders have the right skills; it’s whether they have the potential to learn new ones
  • Significant scarcity of top talent – key factors: globalization; demography (fewer people) and pipeline (of future leaders); […] a war for talent; […] perhaps insurmountable challenge for most organizations
  • Get better at hiring – look for potential: Motivation; Curiosity; Insight; Engagement; Determination
  • Jeff Bezos, Amazon: Setting the bar high in our approach when hiring has been, and will continue to be, the single most important element of our success’.
  • [when hiring,] some interviewer’s opinion are worse than flipping a coin. […] By contrast, companies that emphasize the right kind of hiring vastly improve their odds.
  • Get better at retention – learn from Pink about motivation (autonomy; purpose; mastery) – not so much about pay as it’s about opportunity to grow through stretching assignments and strong support
  • Get better at developing your best talent [stretch development …] – make sure your stars live up to the high potential you have spotted in them by offering development opportunities that push them out of their comfort zone