Top 3+ Essential Talents Required to Thrive in Today’s Economy

Top 3+ Essential Talents Required to Thrive in Today’s Economy

Back in 1959, Peter Drucker predicted that the major changes in society would soon be brought about by information. He coined the phrase “knowledge worker” and said that we were moving to an age when people would generate value with their minds more than with their muscle. This shift from a machine and labor perspective to one of intelligence and information was very radical for its’ time.

Fast forward over 60 years. The view of talent has drastically changed, and many of Drucker’s predictions did come true. Look no further than the most influential companies in the world to see that knowledge workers in the field of Information Technology, and specifically Artificial Intelligence and Informatics, have definitely set the pace for success.

How Do We Differentiate and Define Talent?

In Jack Welch’s 2001 book, Straight from the Gut, he provided an overview of his way of differentiating talent. Welch found a ranking tool he liked — the “Vitality Curve.” Every year, the company asked each of its businesses to rank all their executives. They had to identify the people in their organizations that they considered the top 20 percent, the middle 70 percent, and finally, the bottom 10% — by name, position and compensation.

Those who did not perform to expectations were generally let go. This was the first delineation of workers into a keep / don’t keep mentality based on differentiation techniques. While many still use this or a similar methodology, GE stopped using this methodology about 10 years ago, and recently stopped their annual review process all together.

One of the people who helped establish the GE ranking system was Dr. Brad Smart, an internationally recognized management psychologist and consultant. Dr. Smart called his work Topgrading, and after writing a book on the subject, he has gone on to develop materials and training on the Topgrading approach.

The term topgrading was coined by Smart and his son Geoff in a 1997 paper co-authored by the father son duo. Smart was able to define and categorize employees based on an alphanumeric scale ranging from the letter A to the letter C. While most of your employees rank in the B filing order, the goal is to hire “A” players.

What Are A Players?

A Players are those top 10% employees who can achieve the targeted goals and more. They are the employees that stand out and accomplish goals. They are action oriented and “do” more than they “say” they will do. According to Smart and later his son Geoff, focus on your “A” players when hiring and expect great things from your group.

According to Smart, A Players tend to be:

  • Smart
  • Passionate
  • Trustworthy
  • Consistent
  • Adaptable
  • Surrounded by high performers
  • Hard workers
  • Resourceful
  • Effective leaders
  • Humble

Break them out in this way:

A Player = top 10% of talent for the pay = high performer

B Player = next 25% of talent = good/adequate performer

C Player = bottom 35% of talent = chronic low performer

These are employees that can bring you 10X on your investment in them. They can lead a company, drive your sales and expand your R&D further than any other employees can. You want them, need and MUST have them to have a GREAT company.

How Do You Hire A Players?

Hiring A Players requires managers always be on the lookout for talent. Even if you are not actively searching for your next hire, do not let “I don’t have any openings” be the reason you do not sit down for 30 minutes and talk to a potential All- Star in your respective industry.

When you do have an opening, sit down with your trusted advisors and managers and script out what your position requires for someone to be successful. We tend to consult our clients on a 3-fold strategy. First you must consider what the cultural fit within your team or company require. If you have a culture that requires thick skin and limited emotional leeway, then that must be the first criteria you use when interviewing. Hiring for cultural fit first will make the training, onboarding and management that much smoother.

Be on the lookout for talent every single day. Your main operator, engineer, salesperson or global director of sales might call you today and let you know they are leaving; or you might need to promote another A player in your organization quickly. Whatever the reason, you need to know what talent is available in your team, your company or in your coverage area at all times.

Managers should also be in touch with their team. Ask your team who you should be talking to for potential openings. Because of professional associations and LinkedIn, your “A” Players are generally in contact with others potential A Players that might be open to talking

Competencies

These are a few of the competencies that you may be looking for, but identify those that are most important, because your interviews will require you to build questions around the ones you choose.

In our recent podcast, Talent+Talks, you will hear David Rutherford cover the three he considers essential plus a bonus core competency he feels none of us should allow exceptions for in the post pandemic economy.

These are:

1.     Training. You are either trained or untrained. Going back to Drucker, he thought trained employees were incredibly valuable. Look at their training history, see how it compliments your own programs, and ensure they also remain trainable. After all, we do need to be lifelong learners to remain successful in this age of rapid innovation and constant shifts in paradigms.

2.     Performance Indicators. We all say that past performance is the greatest predictor of future success. What we really need to do, though, is become quite clear on how we measure this. Look to see that the specific, most desirable core competencies are routinely demonstrated in ways that can be truly measured and repeated or improved upon.

3.     Perseverance. Especially in today’s economy, we all must be able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, learn from any missteps, adjust and stay engaged.

As a bonus, yet essential we cannot live without today, we must hire those who have a willingness to fail, to experiment, to understand and expose their limits and grow through the lesson’s failure teaches. IN turn, our organizations must make it safe to fail, and we must motivate our teams to display an ongoing drive to try many new things that just might work. Learn from them when they do not, and amplify them when they do.

Conclusions

Now that you have chosen the ideal cultural fit, the competencies required to be successful and the technical MUST have items to meet or exceed expectations, it’s time to build out your hiring team and your interview plan.

Remember that you need to measure everything if you want to improve it or manage others through it. Go to this page to find the 5 Metrics Every Hiring Manager Should Have On Their Dashboard. Also, do you want to know the #1 reason why new hires fail?

At CercaTalent+, we are professionals working with professionals to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with Top Talent focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, every day, then we would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been pros ourselves in the fields where we focus, we know the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers.

We find ways to serve you by exercising the disciplined, daily practice of finding A+ Players with whom you can develop the kind of great reputation that will lead your company to Exceed Expectations.  To expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work which they love and who embrace the power of now, please reach out to Scott Rivers at srivers@cercatalent.com.


CERCA Talent is a full-service Talent Firm with strategic focus in the areas of Life Sciences, Diagnostics, Genomics and Biotechnology.

Our clients choose to work with CERCA because of our deep understanding of the industries that we serve. They continue to work with us based on our knowledge and contacts which lead to amazing service to our clients. By working with the best clients, we are able to support them hiring the best talent in the industry.


Scott Rivers, is the Managing Director at Cerca Talent+, a Global Recruitment Solutions firm, where he directs the Diagnostics, Device and Genetics Talent Acquisition activities for the organization. Scott’s background as a recruiter, search firm owner and industry sales and marketing director, gives him an inequitable advantage in today’s talent market. Regarded as an expert in Talent Acquisition and Employment Technology, Scott has consulted some of the largest companies in the world on how best to implement talent acquisition strategies into daily practice.

Scott’s past experiences include senior sales and marketing roles at global organizations including Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson. His last industry position was the Global Director of Oncology Marketing at a Johnson & Johnson Company. There, he was responsible for all upstream and downstream marketing activities pertaining to the molecular oncology products of the organization. 

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Scott Rivers

Helping clients acquire top talent for peak performance in the fields of Oncology, Genetics, Diagnostics and Life Sciences

A Players are those top 10% employees who can achieve the targeted goals and more. They are the employees that stand out and accomplish goals. They are action oriented and “do” more than they “say” they will do. Today, we focus on “A” players when hiring and expect great things from your group.

These are the employees who tend to be: · Smart · Passionate · Trustworthy · Consistent · Adaptable · Surrounded by high performers · Hard workers · Resourceful (Most important!) · Effective leaders · Humble

A players represent those top 10% we all want on our team. These are employees that can bring you 10X on your investment in them. They can lead a company, drive your sales and expand your R&D further than any others can or will. You want them, need and MUST have them to grow a GREAT company.

Scott Rivers

Scott Rivers

Helping clients acquire top talent for peak performance in the fields of Oncology, Genetics, Diagnostics and Life Sciences

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