‘We need to find fantastic talent for our organization’ – this is a line you are likely to have heard before. But what does it really mean when we refer to talent? If you are a recruiter, it’s likely that you use it to refer to the workforce in general. However, that doesn’t seem to be the only thing that talent means to a recruiter or HR professional. So, what are talents? Let’s dig deeper.
What Are Talents?
Talents are also used to discuss the abilities of candidates. This is what they are proficient in or what they are good at. More than that, talent tends to refer to innate qualities in the individual. When someone is ‘talented’ at playing the piano, for example, the implication is that they are naturally good at it.
Talent Vs Skill
So, what are talents vs skills? While talents are seen to be innate abilities of an applicant, skills are the counterpoint. They are learnt. A skill is usually thought of as an ability that someone has acquired through some amount of effort.
Talent and skills are not opposing forces, however. Someone may have an innate ability – talent – for numbers. That doesn’t mean that they are good at math, without some teaching and learning. They may find learning math easier than some others, though.
What Types of Talent to Look For?
There are numerous types of talent that someone may possess. As mentioned, it’s all about which types the role requires. Here are some types of talent that you may want to look for:
1. Systems Thinking
Systems thinking is the ability to look at a system holistically to identify the pain points. The person will be able to take complex systems and understand how change will affect these.
2. Problem Solving
People who are talented problem solvers can understand a complicated problem and think of unique solutions to these.
This refers to the talent for leading groups and can include aspects such as charisma, confidence, and persuasion.
4. Risk Management
The ability to identify, analyze and respond to risk in order to mitigate its effects.
The ability to get people to agree with your idea or see your point of view is crucial in many roles. Negotiation and influencing go hand in hand and are great talents for many leaders to have.
This one may seem odd to you. Why should an employee be a storyteller? Anyone in a leadership position needs to get others on board with their vision. Storytelling can be hugely helpful with that. It can also make you a great presenter and an interesting person to have in the workplace.
7. Divergent Thinking
Divergent thinking is crucial for coming up with new ideas that others may not have considered. To run a well-functioning team, you need to have a range of ways of thinking in there. Perhaps an analytical person, a human-focused person, and a divergent thinker. When these people work well together, you can come up with fantastic solutions to problems.
Forming A Strategy to Measure Talents
There are many applications of talent for recruiters. The first thing you need to do is sit down and decide what are talents that are crucial to the role in question. Then you can develop a plan for how to look for those talents during the hiring process.
You may choose to include an aptitude test in your recruitment process. This can help you to identify the natural talents of your applicants. For example, setting a verbal reasoning test for applicants. This can give you an insight into how quickly they can comprehend information.
You can also target interview questions to uncover certain skills. For example, asking someone for a specific example of a time they were under pressure and how they reacted. This will give you an indication of their natural resilience talent.
Psychometric tests for personality can also help you uncover the natural aptitude of a candidate. These could include people skills, empathy, judgement, and more. This can be useful to use for people-focused roles, where the person will need to get along well with others. It also helps if people in these roles are intuitive and thoughtful.
Think Outside the Box
While you may be used to requiring a certain level of education or experience, these refer to skills and not talent. Perhaps relax your requirements on these and you may find that you find more talented people than you otherwise would have.
By starting to consider what are talents that you need in your organization, you can uncover a whole range of new possibilities. Decide which talents you need in your organization. These may include systems thinking, leadership, or storytelling.
Then you can start to form a strategy to recruit for these. You may use methods such as aptitude tests or interview questions. Come to the recruitment process with an open mind and who knows what you will find.