How Talent Intelligence Uncovers Potential

By Emily Loberto

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Ask any kid what they want to do when they grow up, and you’ll see the sparkle in their eyes as they tell you. But when those big dreamers reach adulthood, they are often squashed by jobs they aren’t passionate about and resign themselves to days spent counting down the seconds until they can go home. People typically spend at least 40 hours each week at their job, which translates to upwards of 2000 hours per year, so it's no surprise that work plays a key role in shaping our overall happiness. But what is the benefit of filling your workforce with individuals who are driven by their roles, and how can you distinguish them from the crowd?  

The Dual Components of Talent Intelligence 

Talent intelligence includes both learned skills and innate drive – and the secret to successful hiring is finding the right balance between the two. However, recruiters tend to lean more heavily on hard skills when selecting a candidate for a role, and drive, which is equally important, is often overlooked.  

This misalignment has caused many difficulties in the talent space, and they will only become more pronounced as the shelf life for learned skills decreases, and employers are left trying to reskill a workforce that didn’t want to be there in the first place.  

The other aspect of talent intelligence includes understanding the beliefs, motivations, and values that a person needs to have in order to enjoy a particular role. These aspects of personality are all relatively stable, so a person hired based on their passion for a job will likely still enjoy their work many years down the road.  

This is the difference between an employee being good at their job and finding passion in their work – and it is far easier to upskill a candidate who will truly love what they are doing than to spark motivation in an employee who has all the right skills but would rather be anywhere than their desk. 

Reimagining Talent Acquisition 

The traditional approach to talent acquisition often excludes people who might not have formal education or lack work experience. But these candidates are often teachable and believe they can successfully perform a task or role and, most importantly, they are driven to prove themselves. There's untapped potential in these candidates, particularly in roles where specific skills can be learned on the job within a reasonable amount of time.  

The key is to gauge a candidate's potential for growth and motivation to learn, which are key indicators of job performance and satisfaction. The more an employee has to learn on the job, the longer you will be able to retain them. In fact, according to HBR, 94% of people reported that they would stay with an employer that invested in their development.  

So, an employee that may not have looked the best on paper when they were first hired but was highly motivated to learn will quickly catch up to their peers and deliver increasing value to your organization over a longer period of time.  

The Power of Employee Engagement 

According to a Gallup study, companies with an engaged workforce outperform companies without one by 202%. When your employees are happy and feel fulfilled by their role, they will arrive at work each day feeling fresh and ready to put their best foot forward. In contrast, disengaged employees reach burnout faster and are more likely to leave your organization.  

In short, happy employees determine the success of a company. When an employee is fulfilled by their work, they are better able to focus on it, increasing their level of productivity. Happy employees are also more creative and better able to generate ideas, which is crucial to company agility in our fast-paced world.  

When you hire candidates based on what they are naturally driven by and allow their learned skills to catch up, you build the foundation for a happy, fulfilled, and thriving workforce.  

Assess Candidate Motivation with Plum 

Everyone wants to put their best foot forward in an interview, so when asked if they are passionate about the role they are applying to, few candidates will say no. This doesn’t mean that they are being untruthful, but that it can be very difficult to assess how well their innate drivers will match with a job simply from a description of it.  

Plum overcomes this hurdle by getting to the core of what a job requires and analyzing how it matches with the tasks that each candidate finds most driving. In one scalable assessment, you can unlock motivation and potential across your organization.  

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