CLICHE ALERT: Stop me when you’ve heard these before…
“We really are looking to hire smart people…”
“Smart people figure things out….”
“Smart people aren’t afraid of change..”
Blah, blah, blah…
The problem with all that? The definition of smart people. Most people think that being smart is about IQ, most often demonstrated by academic achievement.
If you’re trying to hire smart people based on that, you’re going to miss more often than you connect. And everything you want to do with “smart” people is predicated on your definition of smart and how you identify it in candidates and the people already inside your company.
So let’s start with the definition of “smart”.
Here’s mine – we don’t interview for or value “adaptability on the fly” enough. You know, winging it with intelligence and confidence. Maybe you call that street smarts.
I call it the ability to “fake it until you make it” and it should be your new definition of hiring smart…
Now I know what you’re saying. Kris, faking it is bad. People need to know what they’re doing. They need to be trained. We owe that to our people. We can’t ask them to fake competency that they don’t have.
Here’s the problem with that stance. Your talent – my talent – is faced with at least 5 conversations a day (if not more) they don’t have experience in. Training for all the things that require adaptability on the fly is not possible.
That’s why the best employees are the ones that aren’t afraid to jump on a call or in a meeting where they have limited subject matter expertise and wing it. They are the ones that are upwardly mobile in your organization regardless of their experience to date.
Winging it – and faking it until you make it – is street code for facilitation.
People who can facilitate and participate in conversations where they have limited subject matter expertise – and become more knowledgeable by the minute while that conversation is going on – are the ones worth their weight in gold.
That reality around what smart really means is why we’re doing a webinar tomorrow, Wed. June 12 at 1pm EST, entitled Brains Before Bros: Why Hiring Smart People over Experienced People is a Winning Talent Strategy (click this link to register), sponsored by our friends at SumTotal. Here’s what you get if you join us:
- A rundown of the factors driving talent scarcity in today’s workforce and why it’s better to hire smart people and train for success.
- FOT’s definition of “smart” and common false positives you need to consider when defining what smart looks like for your organization.
- Three signs that your top talent may be looking to jump ship and how to reel them back in by providing the incentives they really want. (Hint: It’s not always monetary).
- Five ways to keep training and development programs aligned with evolving expectations from top applicants and your existing SMART talent – without breaking your budget.
- We’ll close this webinar by bringing in Steve Parker from SumTotal to help you ensure your leadership team is creating the right environment to get the most out of your existing talent.
What if you went to you operations leader and said you’ve got a new talent strategy built around finding and then developing the smartest people in your organization – the ones who are professional nimble and can do multiple things in your company and are going to be the key to your growth?
I think they’d believe that to be a innovative strategy.
Going to be an interesting one – join me and Kelly Dingee on Wed. June 12 at 1pm EST entitled Brains Before Bros: Why Hiring Smart People over Experienced People is a Winning Talent Strategy (click this link to register). Just hit the link or complete the registration form below and it is done – you’re in.
Your traditional approach to talent is stale–- start putting brains before bros and maximize your talent strategy today.
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.