Hiring Wisdom: How to Hire For Talent

Used to be every employer preferred hiring for skills and/or experience; the thinking was one or both of these traits would help the new hire seamlessly fit into the new job. Today, however, in the wake of ceaseless technological change, it’s all about hiring for talent.

So, what is the difference? A skill is the ability to do a particular task, like the ability to drive a truck, design a building, or cut hair. Talent is the ability to learn new skills and/or dramatically improve upon an existing skill set.

Because of all the rapid changes in the workplace and technology, hiring a skill today is only going to solve a problem in the short run. When you hire talent, those people will be able to move the organization to the next level because they can quickly learn and apply new knowledge. (While you may want to hire a programmer who knows a specific language, you would be better off hiring one who has the ability to rapidly learn and apply new languages.)

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Here are some interview questions that explore an applicant’s talents:

  1. What was the last thing you learned and how have you applied that learning?
  2. How do you learn best?
  3. Give me an example of a situation where you did not know how to handle a particular problem. What action did you take? Why did you take that course of action?
  4. In your present or last job, how long did it take you to feel like an expert in your position? How much did you have to learn? How did you tackle it? What were the most difficult aspects of the job to master? Who helped you?
  5. Let’s assume for a moment I hire you and you start in two weeks. During that time, I get called out of the office on urgent business and am not available to support you for the next month. What are you going to do to get yourself up to speed?

When talent is in the ring versus experience/skills, my money’s on talent every time.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.


1 Comment on “Hiring Wisdom: How to Hire For Talent

  1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/232ecf12fbf068bc47344b4552941d13828d2be9a9eb07c582ed27b570247e51.jpg
    Types of hiring of a designer

    The main question which managers of companies usually have is: which will be the most convenient form of work with a designer? There are a lot of variants of arranging your cooperation with this specialist, but here are most popular ones:

    – A full-time specialist. Works at the office and his work is being monitored by an office time tracker. The wage is based on the number of work hours counted by a time tracker installed in an office computer

    – A freelancer. Works in certain projects. His work is being monitored by a time tracker while implementing of a project. The salary is paid at the end of its implementation. A freelancer can work for several companies at the same time

    – Home office specialist. He usually works for one certain company, but not at the office but at home. The wage is based on the number of work hours counted by a time tracker installed in a home office computer.

    So, each company decides whether it is better to hire a freelancer or a remote designer, or maybe it is better to have a full-time designer among staff members of a company. From the one hand, home office workers or freelancers can save money of a company. From the other hand, it will be a real disaster if a freelancer or a remote worker won’t present you an appropriate quality of work or won’t satisfy time frames of a project.

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