I came across this post today and it set me thinking. When we talk about talent are we really talking about people with the skills we want? When I ran an IT department, I used to recruit non-IT trained people and train them to have the skills I wanted. I can remember the conversations with recruitment agencies which followed the path:
- I want to recruit a trainee programmer
- What skills do you need?
- Ability to think; ability to learn; able to fit into my team; …
- Ok, but I can’t look those up on my database. What skills do you need – SQL, Visual Basic, …?
In general, I got better, more productive employees my way than recruiting the candidate with the perfect skills match on the database.
I wonder whether some of our current problems are down to so many organisations wanting to recruit the perfect person, with the perfect skills. That is always going to restrict the number of potential candidates. Surely it is better to accept that whoever is recruited is going to need to adapt to their new job. For some that is getting used to the way things work in their new organisation; for others, it is training in the additional skills they need.