Dec 26, 2011

Finding great talent in the not-so-usual way

I recently came across reference to George Anders' book "The Rare Find" first by a video talk my friend Gaurav Mishra shared on Facebook and then coming across the review of the book on HRExaminer and an interview of George by Daniel Pink. I then discovered that George was following me on Twitter too :-)

In the interview with Dan Pink he shares the way recruiters normally get it wrong. 
You need resilience to be a great CEO, a great teacher, soldier, investor, etc., etc. But when we hire, we’re taught to regard setbacks — regardless of what came next — as flaws in a candidate. So when we prepare our own resumes, we hide our stumbles. That’s wrong! We should cherish people who have extricated themselves from trouble in the past.
Find the frontier. If you want to be extraordinary, restlessness is a virtue. It’s also a great traveling companion for resilience; if you can combine the two of them, your chances of finding society’s greatest opportunities in any particular decade are huge. Hang out with people just as driven and passionate as you. The great hotbeds of talent are self-sustaining because competitive internal friendships guide rapid progress. When in doubt, come back to autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Personally, I think the greatest recruiters are the hiring managers. In certain industries the real talent scouts are people who have done the job, and so they know exceptional talent when they see it. Talent is also demonstrated in "doing" rather than interviewing. Of course, as he says for some jobs like coding software or writing it is possible to look at the results before you select them. How do you do it for other jobs?