talent vs. skills

Do You Really Know What Talent You Have in Your Business?

Chances are pretty good that you don’t. You are operating based on hunches or guesses that are based on your observations and expectations. Maybe the thought of hiring people based on natural talents is foreign to you, unknown territory you don’t know how to explore. You are not alone!

Employers’ dilemma: Why hire through talents vs. skills?

If you are one of the employers who don’t know how to hire people through their individual talents rather than their skills, you should know that hiring based on talents delivers these desirable outcomes:

  • A lot of the interpersonal stress and turmoil is eliminated from your business.

  • Your people function more cohesively in their respective jobs because their talents match the needs of the job.

  • Your bottom line is stronger because you are retaining your most valuable asset (your people) and you are not paying the high cost of training someone new.

  • As your business expands, you have a clear understanding of the talent you need to manage the business expansion – you may not need to hire at all because the right person is already working for you.

Once you get started, once you build your framework of the individual talents that each of your positions needs, you are on your way to managing through talents.

Out with the bad air – in with the good!

There is a substantial amount of outdated skills based information floating around out there, and sometimes we assume that because information has been around for a long time, it is correct.

Okay. “Substantial” may be putting it mildly. Shall we say a mountain of outdated skills-based information? Anyway, there’s a lot of it out there and a lot of it is wrong. If you’ve ever relied on it and hired a misfit, you know just how wrong it is – and how much it costs you when you make a mistake.

Now that we’re firmly planted in the 21st century, it’s more important than ever for managers and employers to adopt talent management practices in order to realize returns that go from borderline to extraordinary.

Getting the inside scoop

In order to understand individual talent, businesses use assessments (also referred to as profiles) that guide the individual testee through a series of rank ordering of lists or question/answer items. The responses are compared to a set of norms or usual traits compiled over time, analyzed based on a statistical formula, and an understanding of the talents of the individual is revealed. Examples of assessments we use to understand talents include the DISC Index, Attribute Index, and Values Index. It takes the testee around 20 minutes total to complete all three.
business talent management

Look for these in any assessment you use

Statistical reliability and dependability of the assessment is a feature you should insist on with any assessment you use. Older assessments cannot be validated for a number of reasons, including the age of the assessment, use of paper-based assessments, and incomplete rankings or responses to all of the items in the assessment. These older assessments are really easy for someone to fool, and if you make the mistake of hiring someone based on one of these older assessments, congratulations! You’ve just hired a misfit.

A huge advantage for small businesses

Small businesses need to understand the talents of management and staff and manage the business based on these talents in order to avoid burn-out, high employee turnover, and lack of talent in crucial areas like sales or customer service. In all truth, managing talent makes the most sense for a small business because a small business does not have the breadth and depth of people to cover the lack of talent that naturally occurs in people and therefore in businesses. Get started as soon as you can.


Author: Sue Hays, CBC (Business analyst focusing on talent analytics, Sue Hays has worked with people from across North America and organizations of all sizes. She’s been certified in the administration and analysis of the Innermetrix assessments since 2008, and she uses these validated assessments exclusively to assist businesses and the people who work in them to understand themselves and the people around them, which ultimately lead to greater success. Sue is the co-founder of KITEDISCtest247.com.)

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