Saturday, November 22, 2014

Digital Talent Manager's Thinking: Hire Mindset, Train for Skills

One’s thinking capability and styles may well decide which position they may fit in.

Many of us like the talent management mantra, “hire character, train for skills,” it indicates how important to get the “raw talent” or the right attitude; the complementary say could be “hire mindset, train for knowledge, “, if character comes through one’s heart and gut to be who you are, then mind shapes your professional persona, are you forward thinking or backward looking? Are you open minded or conservative in the heart; Are you intellectually curious or fundamentally pragmatic? Do you enjoy the change or prefer stability? And so on.

The right mindset is more critical than ever due to the accelerating changes. The right mind drives good attitude. Time and time again attitude trumps static knowledge, and raw intelligence trumps skills. We can train for skills when you have the right mind and positive attitude and raw intellect to absorb the technical material. When a person relies on their technical skills alone they most likely will get the job done, but no passion to grow and no attitude to take extra miles.

One’s thinking capability and styles may well decide which position they may fit in. The formal education can teach you certain level of knowledge, but it cannot teach you how to think. The experience can make you be fluent in mostly linear skills, but without thinking capacity, you can not further sharpen the synthetic capability to jump start to the new horizons.  

Hiring mindset means to discover the very talent who can "figure it out." The right mind is the foundation to build competitive capabilities and drive the right attitude. That flies in the face of "hiring just for skills." Consider the position and environment you are hiring for. For example, if the role requires judgment, temperament, skills to persuade a larger group, understanding global social capital, managing diverse interests etc, filling it with a more systems thinking, complexity thinking and empathetic thinking type is the right approach. 

Talent, emotional intelligence, empathy, and passion are things that cannot be taught, they are part of the mindset; and you have to sharpen on your own based on the authenticity. The talent managers themselves are better practicing the reflective thinking and critical thinking, continue to ask: Does the value added skills that you see in the individual meet what you are looking for? Is there a cultural match? Or at senior leadership level, are you hiring a change agent or a transactional manager. We can train the technical skills that are needed for our specific needs, but we can't always train for a match in the team work skills or the enthusiasm to learn and the individual’s ability to strive to be the best at what they do

Passion, creativity, motivation and capability etc are all based on mindset, it can be sharpened, but cannot be taught, you just have to figure it out. And it is crucial to build dynamic talent capability portfolio, not just the linear skill set, digital organizations shall more proactively hire the right mind, and grow their talent to unleash both individual and business potential in continuum.


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