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All that glitters is not… talent

Posted on January 12, 2016 4:30 am;

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By Anis Aboujaoude

There is no doubt that the word Talent is the current buzzword in the Lebanese business circle, as it has become the common denominator for business success and continuity. That said, the quest for talent in general and in the Lebanese labor market in specific, could be fundamentally comparable to gold mining, where diagnostics, sourcing, digging and extraction are key and where the involvement of all mining crew members, from top to bottom, is as critical.

'Mining' for talents is therefore a more appropriate word than 'hunting' for it, as it conceals hardship, challenges and sweat; defining talent stems as the initial challenge, what are its rare components? Is it only top notch background (education, experience, family, social…)?, Although they are all essential,  the main component is the ability to adapt this mass of background to an existing culture and to drive and inspire change within it, without fear of challenging what and who has already made the business succeed and grow. Along with agility and thoroughness, this sine qua non qualifier for talent makes it even harder to identify and to select; easier said than done, fishing nets or riffles have never yielded any gold, as dynamite has always been the most efficient means for that!

Similarly, classical selection methods can only scratch the surface of talent, as blowing it up out of a pool of applicants requires much bolder, riskier and noisier methods; where candidates, who could still be 'fished' by classical methods, will be blown-up, prior to hiring, through interacting with bitter work realities, such as hands-on responsibilities, inbox exercises, team building missions and others.

In summary, exposing talents is similar to the Exposition Rock exercise at the time of Spartans, where a  baby had the privilege to become a Spartan, who are all elite legionnaires of war, only if he could survive for 3 consecutive days, alone, out in the cold;

Although mining might sound like a sporadic method, serious efforts have to be exerted in order to ensure a consistent flow of talents. Noting that crushing, homogenizing mix, thickening, additives and polishing are all as hard and time consuming as mining, prior to gold glittering!

Stay tuned for more articles from Anis Abouhaoude, SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP Instructor at Morgan International!

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