What do you look for when you look for talent?
Competence is the key to solving problems but competence alone is not sufficient for success. In current context, I would define talent as a combination of competence, commitment, learning agility, attitude/character, communication skills, ability to collaborate across different cultures, critical thinking and creative problem solving.
Back in 2010, I interviewed John Spence on this blog when he released his new book titled Awesomely Simple – Essential Business Strategies For Turning Ideas Into Action. The book offers great ideas to simplify work life which I often refer.
In the same year 2010, American Management Association released result of their Critical skill survey which outlined Creativity, Communication, Collaboration and Critical Thinking as key skills for future success.
In the book, John defines business success as a combination of culture and great talent, and further offers 5 C’s of Great Talent, which I found very useful.
Here is a quick sketch note version of 5 C’s of Great Talent.
Related Reading at QAspire: Skills For Future Success in a Disruptive World of Work
Traditionally, career success was linked with 3 R’s (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic) but in American Management Association’s critical skills survey 2012, respondents emphasized on 4 C’s (Critical thinking and problem solving, Effective Communication, Collaboration and team building and Creativity and innovation) as their key priorities for employee development, talent development and succession planning.
Organization suffers when leaders take decisions purely based on their emotion, assumption, perception or a bias without questioning them. It can sometimes prove fatal. One of the most important agenda for HR Professionals today is to assess and develop critical thinking skills of their people.
Pearson TalentLens India has launched a brand new blog that delves deeper into critical thinking and talent development. I am so happy to be a contributing author to this initiative where I share insights at the crossroads of critical thinking and talent. In their own words,
Effective leaders have never been in greater demand and critical thinking skills never so sought after. The Critical Thinking India blog is an online meeting place, to help you stay on top of sophisticated decision making and problem solving as a professional and gain the critical thinking edge in the 21st century workplace.
Here are a few snippets from posts I have contributed so far.
With people being at the core of an organization’s greatness, it is extremely important for HR professionals to pay attention to two things – that existing people are trained to think critically and people are hired based on their ability to think critically.
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An organization thrives on people and decisions they make. An organization grows (or doesn’t) one decision at a time. These decisions, ranging from strategic ones to tactical, are taken by people at all levels in the organization. The foundation of a right decision is based on one of the most important skill of 21st century – critical thinking.
Please take a look and read the posts I have contributed. You can also follow conversations related to critical thinking on Twitter at @ThinKritical
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I wrote a post earlier titled “Points to Ponder on Your Internal Customers: Your People” listing some of the important considerations when managing your people. Internal customers are your people, and it is important to treat them well. Obvious!
Today, I want to touch upon your “prospective internal customers” – people who you interview and screen for open positions within your organization. If they make it through the hiring process, they are going to be your internal customers. But even if they don’t make it through, they still remain your “prospective internal customers” because they interact with you and share their ideas. They ultimately go back into the marketplace with an “experience” you extend to them during the hiring process.
If you are a human resources professional managing the hiring process, a business owner or someone on a technical interview panel, here are a few things you MUST consider for extending a great experience to your prospective candidates:
Remember that every candidate that walks into the doors of your company is your brand ambassador.
People are more connected, physically and virtually over social media. They talk about companies and experiences.
They start “feeling” your organization the moment they walk in. Why not make that feeling a pleasant one?
Treat them well – as an interviewer, you have to be humble and give due importance to what candidate has to say.
It is important to share larger perspective with them. Introduce them to your organization (read “sell”) and be transparent in sharing the details.
Seek to understand them – ask right questions to get the right details. Elaborate your questions so that they are easily understandable. Short and direct questions are sometimes incomprehensible.
Remember that an interview is not about “quizzing” the candidate. It is about engaging them in a “conversation”. Seek details as a part of conversations, not as a rapid fire round of questions.
Conversation is important because people only open up fully when they are engaged in meaningful conversation.
Be generous. Educate them when they demonstrate lack of clarity on something. When you add some value (in form of knowledge) to the candidate, they remember you (because you gave them something).
Interview them in the right setting, offer basic courtesies and extend a positive experience. It goes a long way in creating a positive word of mouth.
Earlier, marketing/advertisements were enough for creating your brand. Today, it is people and their experiences with you that creates brand.
People will eventually forget the kind of questions you asked them – but they will remember the “experience” you extended to them during the hiring process.
Make sure you deliver a GREAT experiences!