Zero Talent

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I saw this shared randomly on the interwebs sometime ago and I thought I’d capture it here and add a few wandering thoughts related to hiring.
So, here you go:

10 Things That Require Zero Talent:

Being on time
Work ethic
Body language
Being coachable
Going the extra mile
Being prepared

I’ve reprinted it without change from the original image that I saw. I agree on most of these things, by the way. Strangely, many of us forget how important these things are, especially when we’re hiring folks.
Instead, we look for very specific technical skills or expertise, things that we can easily count or measure or qualify as true. But how do you “test” for attitude? How do you qualify someone being truly coachable?
Those things are hard to measure and certainly hard to qualify. But they are more important than any particular skill or experience or level (or lack thereof) of expertise.
Why? Because we all know that one person in our organization (or previous team) that had all the right credentials and who was “so good” at their job but who was essentially toxic.
They were mean or apathetic or lazy. They had a shitty attitude most of the time and wasn’t interested in building rapport with the other folks on the team. People would inwardly groan when they walked in the room or purposefully try to avoid conflict with them or even when passing them in the hall.
These folks weren’t bad people… they were just people who could get away with their skill and leadership gave them unfair allowances because of that quantifiable skillset (which is a much bigger issue, by the way…).
Regardless, these folks are late to meetings (if they even showed up), rarely participated in cultural or team events and they certainly aren’t coachable or open to critique or feedback or personal development.
And again, strangely but not surprisingly, we oftentimes hire these folks because we forget the other things that are vastly more important but, sadly, are simply less obvious and more difficult to suss out in interviews; interviews that are far too quickly executed for everyone’s good.
Real, quality work requires invisible qualities.
Obviously, I’m thinking through these things as we grow our team over at Pinpoint and how we think through hiring and what we should look for in early team members.
Now, full disclosure: At Pinpoint we’ve been seriously fortunate to have the opportunity to work with folks that we’ve partnered with in the past and so hiring some of the early team members for our team has been less difficult for us than for most other early-stage companies.
Consequently, these folks are talented, vetted, and have most of the enumerated qualities that have been tested against and proven over time. The time element, by the way, is one of the more important elements in the much larger equation of truly understanding if a person has the 10 qualities above.
But we won’t be able to hire these one-degree of separation relationships forever and so creating clarity around who we’d like hire and the important qualities that will matter much more than just specific technical skills is important. And for me this most simply starts with just thinking through these things and spending the time to write about it, just like this blog post.
One final thing to note is that even for myself, over time, I’ve adjusted a lot of my own personal development toward those enumerated things as well.
Although I have continued to grow in a number of technical areas I have spent much more of my time making sure that my attitude and energy are at the highest levels for maximum and peak performance. I also care more about coaching others and being coached myself as well as “going the extra mile” for my team (and my family).
These things are never easy to see and it’s hard to know if you’re growing in these areas and it’ll only show up when it counts. My hope and belief is that they will because I’ve been working intentionally on building them, as best as I can.
This, of course, is related to the last point of simply being prepared.
The post Zero Talent appeared first on John Saddington.

Posted on June 20, 2017 in Austin Responsive Development, Austin Web Designer, Blog, development, drupal design,, Drupal Developer, Drupal Development Austin, Drupal Support, energy, Expert Drupal Development, organization, performance, The

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