Let’s talk about talent. If I asked you what your talents were, what are the first things that pop into your head? Would you say playing tennis? Maybe baking sweet treats? Or maybe you’re a really good singer. While those talents are all great to have, they aren’t the only things hiring managers should be looking for. The talents you need to focus on as a hiring manager are the less obvious ones, such as communication or analytical skills. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most important talents that you should look for when hiring a new employee.
But, before we get to talent examples, let’s cover the definition of talent. Talent is a natural aptitude or skill that someone has, allowing her/him to do something very well. The word originates from the ancient Greek word ‘talanton’ which means a balance or a sum.
Talent examples for high performing individuals
Simply put, critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and solve problems. A critical thinker is self-confident, open-minded, inquisitive, and reasonable. They can handle difficult situations in the workplace and often welcome complex challenges. Specifically, critical thinkers show skills including analysis, interpretation, inference, evaluation, explanation, and self-regulation.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage emotions both at a personal and social level. People with high emotional intelligence find it easier to become part of a group or made friends. They can better manage stress and are less likely to suffer from depression in the workplace, as they are self-aware of their feelings and can accurately emotionally assess themselves.
Communication talent is the method one uses to effectively give and receive information, such as ideas, emotions, or describing a situation. Communication skills cover listening, speaking, and observing. People that have a talent in communication are often confident, friendly, and understand their audience well. They are also extremely good at giving and receiving feedback.
A creative person is capable of producing original ideas using their imagination. They can easily create new things and are very resourceful. A creative person always finds connections between different factors when they are trying to solve a problem. They often challenge the status quo and pay close attention to how other people solve problems.
Resilience is the ability to recover fast from a difficult situation and bounce back. Resilient individuals can come with difficult situations and rise to the challenge. They learn from the mistakes and they come back stronger after they face a difficult situation. They have increased awareness of their environment and they are not afraid of reaching out to others for help.
How to define the talents you need in your organization
It is very important to know the talents your employees should possess to successfully completer the tasks available in your company. The starting point should be a list of skills required to complete a role. For example, a marketing job requires good oral and communication skills, analytical ability, creativity and imagination, and teamwork. For a marketing job, these skills can be converted to talents such as communication, creativity, and communication.
Once you have created a list of required skills, you should start by grouping them into talents and then creating some talent examples based on the skills for each of the roles. This will allow you to promote the talents you are after when promoting a role.
How to spot great talent during an interview
The starting point to spot great talent is to ask the right questions. Your interview questions should be based on your talent matrix or your talent examples. Each question should be clear and have a purpose. You should avoid using open-ended questions and make sure each question is designed to test for a particular skill.
You can incorporate in your interview a task that again should be linked to the talent matrix. If you want to test for creativity you can ask them to complete a creative task, such as testing the candidate on how many uses a coffee mug could have aside from drinking coffee.
Allow the candidate to ask questions, this will give you a better understanding of their personality and skills. For example, a critical thinker will always ask a lot of questions and a good communicator will pass on questions easily.
Finally, your reference form should be based on your talent matrix, as it’s always good to hear someone else’s opinion about the candidate – especially if they were in the same working environment.
Any one position in your organization may require a combination of talents that are often not easy to spot during an interview, and may require a lot of experience to assess. If your top concern is finding the right talent, you may want to consider talent assessment platforms that have been scientifically developed to provide you with exactly that level of insight. Understanding your candidate talents and their match for the role making simplifies your overall selection process while ensuring that your decision making is based on objective data and insight