Find Top Talent Before They’re Stars

(or, the Inside Track on Spotting Future Winners)
What’s true in life is also true in business – everyone likes a sure bet. Employers are just as drawn to proven performance, scanning resumes like seasoned gamblers examine race sheets before laying down their money at the track.



The flip side of the coin is that consistently winning workers know their worth, and won’t take a job just anywhere. If you can’t offer them their next brass ring, odds are against attracting them to your team. The game then becomes spotting talent before it gets a running start. It requires some risk, but there are still ways to rate the potential most likely to perform.

Look for the dark horse

Forget searching for top grades. Not every achiever is measured by how well they did in school; in fact, many graduates spend years deprogramming themselves from academia’s cut-and-dried rules of studying to succeed. Students who show devotion for something, even at the risk of perfect grades, are the ones most likely to be driven by the joy of challenging work. They also know that great effort doesn’t guarantee success, meaning they’re more likely to rebound – and with enthusiasm – from failures with a willingness to try again. Our history of great innovators isn’t a list of valedictorians, but of passionate people.

Take a chance on readers

The aim isn’t to find who’s read through the 50 books everyone needs to read – it’s more about how much and how often than about what the material is. Graphic novels, gearhead mags, fan fiction, poetry – don’t judge them for what they choose, just make sure they’re the type to follow their curiosity. Not everyone reads, but those who do tend to be more engaged.

Put personality through its paces

Personality assessments, like the Myers Briggs test, can be a huge help in determining what’s in the cards for candidates. Pre-employment testing will aid you in identifying whether that inexperienced, just-out-of-college candidate is that take-charge ENTJ or the more analytical problem-solving INTP. When people are placed in roles fitting their individual qualities, they are much more likely to hit their stride.

Pass the baton

Even those who have carefully planned and dreamed for years about their profession can feel lost when they’re out in the field. Coming alongside them as a mentor or career counselor will naturally get them to do their best work for you. Though they may have a long way to go to realize their initial ambitions, you have the power to sweeten the pot of the entry-level job simply by caring about their development.

Make them go for broke

One of the best ways to discover someone’s capacity for success is to gauge their reaction to receiving responsibility. Set them up for failure by giving them a task beyond their ability to complete effectively. If they don’t shy away from it, they will fail – but that’s okay, because you’ll be prepared to repair the damage. What is important is how they approached the challenge. Did they ask a lot of questions, even bad ones? Are they willing to try again? How do they view their failure? Future winners are the ones who are willing to knuckle down repeatedly, seeing as much value in the process as in the product.

The same goes for you. Be willing to accept the occasional lame horse in your search for the thoroughbreds. Performance is as much about attitude and passion as it is about talent. Be passionate about cultivating candidates with curiosity, enthusiasm, and courage, and you’ll put them – and your company – on a winning streak. Contact Psych Pros for the best prospective talent in Cincinnati. [/two_third_last]

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,