Instead of Complaining About a Talent Shortage, Let’s Expand the Definition of Talent

Recruiting today misses talented people who may not directly fit the job description, or model of the “ideal hire.” Traditional hiring practices assess on experience (what you have done) rather than potential (what you are capable of), with a disproportionate focus on degree and pedigree.

Recruitment teams, then, are on par with the major record labels of a bygone era – of all the talent available, only a fraction is surfaced and hired, relegating the rest buried beneath, waiting to be discovered.

It’s like music. Pre-Internet — pre-file sharing — your choices were limited to whatever the record labels decided to sign: the good, the bad and the ugly. What you heard on the radio was extremely limited, lazily driven by Billboard’s top hits, old and new. Fans seeking deep tracks could dig through the music store to find a wider assortment — rare songs and “B” sides — if you knew which stores to go to.

But what about the tens of thousands of artists declined by the labels? As with writing and publishing houses, hoards of talent fell by the wayside, their work never seeing the light of day. Cast aside as “niche,” they became buried in the long-tail with no visibility to the public at large.

As we know, the Internet changed that. From Napster to Limewire to MySpace and YouTube, advances in technology democratized music; today, virtually anyone from anywhere can make their art accessible to the masses, and the masses can individually choose what they wish to listen to. A handful of producers and publishers shouldn’t determine what the world hears.

And when it comes to recruiting, keyword searches, “target schools,” age-old degree requirements, and other restrictive hiring practices shouldn’t determine who is a fit for the role....

Read the original ERE Media post for tips on how to widen the lens on talent in face of the tightest labor market in history.

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