Do You Know What Type Of Talent Your Business Needs To Succeed?

To a great extent, the success or failure of your business will depend on the talent you have on board. Your company could offer truly excellent products or services at a great price, but if you do not have the right people selling or marketing them, or the right people dealing with customers, it may not be enough.

Most organisations are aware of this, which is why investment in things like customer service training or sales coaching is increasing year-on-year. However, when it comes to recruitment, many organisations make the mistake of prioritising learned skills over innate talent, hindering their chances of success as a result.

Recognising Innate Talent

As we outline in our white paper, Elevate Your Game and Win More: The Four Critical Insights of Selling Today, the concept of innate talent is distinct from learned skills. It encompasses traits that cannot be taught, such as attitude, behaviour, viewpoints, feelings and even thought patterns.

When you think about the ideal employee, their profile will probably include a good attitude, a passion for what they do, hard-working, creative, able to think outside the box and able to cope with pressure. Yet, chances are, when you interview people, you focus on things like experience, qualifications and job-related skills.

“When it comes to hiring sales talent, most companies prefer to ‘buy’ instead of ‘build’,” Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer explain in an article for the Harvard Business Review. “But experience alone is not a sufficient predictor of who will be successful.”

Getting the Right Blend

To be clear, experience certainly has its place and in some roles it is absolutely essential. After all, you probably do not have the time or resources to train somebody up from scratch to do some of the more technical jobs in your company. However, for sales and customer service roles, attitude is often more important.

You can address things like product knowledge or specific customer service techniques through customer service training, but none of the customer service courses the UK has to offer can teach people to be genuinely optimistic, honest, hard-working, or to think creatively when confronted with a problem.

The trick, therefore, is to get the right blend of experience and innate talent. Sometimes, it is better to invest in someone with the right attitude, who can be taught to do the job, than someone who has the right skills and experience, but whose attitude will probably not fit with the team or the business as a whole.

Identifying Your Business' Needs

Ultimately, when it comes to building a successful team, you have to be able to identify the needs of the team and make adjustments to the hiring process so that people with the desired traits are successful. For example, if you want creative thinkers, you will need to add something to the interview phase that forces them to show their creativity.

The type of talent your business needs to be successful will depend, to some extent at least, on the nature of your business. Generally speaking, positive staff who are flexible, willing to go the extra mile and able to get on well with others. What is important is that these people actually get through the selection process.

Too many businesses prioritise experience and specific job skills over innate talent, but innate talent cannot be taught. It simply exists or it doesn’t. On the other hand, the right sales training and customer service courses will be able to teach many of the job skills to people with the right innate talent. This means that employers should find a balance between both attributes or risk a high staff turnover.