« Watch Out For The "Presenting" Problem | Main | Talent: Smart Heart Or A Well-Bred Head? »



Steve, you and I always seem to connect most strongly on this topic of Talent. We had some dialogue a couple years back on Hidden Talents:

I'm not sure that talent "management" is the right way of thinking about it. Too often, companies manage the talents right out of a person because they don't fit within the confines of the job description. And if businesses don't know how to manage it, then they barely understand the discovery and development process.

Where I absolutely agree is where competencies are confused for talent. In an effort to take away ambiguity, competencies are injected ad nauseum thereby boxing someone who might be extremely creative into an ever shrinking corner.

I realize I'm rambling a bit here. You managed to catch me on a day where I'm a bit more cynical about how business looks for what it thinks is talent, but in the end turns out to be an individual who will fit neatly within their templated job description.


Steve, I wish we made more effort to define talent. Right now, we speak vaguely of a high-performance culture, which seems mostly to consist of turning in our (pretty weak) performance improvement plans (also a horrible name) on time.

And I did notice recently a significant increase in the number of competencies "required" on job listings, as if the hiring manager or HR department were putting every single capability they could think of on the list. I'd far rather see a focus on the few "absolutely critical" competencies that ensure an individual meets the challenges of the position and the culture of the organization. Allowing flexibility beyond those few competencies helps provide for more diversity in the workforce.

Steve Roesler


I do recall that conversation.

Your conclusion is partly what I was trying to get at here and you did a better job of describing the consequences of too many competencies and too narrow a view of people. As I write this I'm in the midst of doing career counseling with a very successful person in the financial industry. He wants to make a move elsewhere but is convinced that no one will hire him outside of his current job title. His experiences and what he has demonstrated far surpass what he has been doing. However, he's been there long enough that now he is convinced that "that is what" he is.

Steve Roesler

Hi Greg

Now that you mention it, I've noticed an increase in "competencies" on job listings as well.

In fact, in the comment I just made above to Chris, the guy in question has avoided going after certain positions because he doesn't think he has all of the competencies listed. It's been tough trying to explain to him how these things are really put together and what he needs to do is get himself in front of the hiring manager.

In an effort to be or appear "thorough," some organizations are actually discouraging the best candidates from applying.

Chris Bailey

Steve, the unfortunate challenge for your client is that he's basing his outlook on more than a wee bit of reality. I've personally been tossed out for what I thought were ideal positions because I did have a specific title in my work history (never mind that my resume showed that I actually did the required work successfully). Pretty easy to see the system is broken, but not unfixable. Your client is fortunate to have selected you to help him...working with you, I seriously doubt he'll be challenged by this problem for much longer.

Air Jordan

Your blog brings me a lot of fun. Very glad to have the opportunity to meet you. Take ralax and give yourself a surprise, and we will live more happy.


Very glad to have the opportunity to meet you.

Steve Roesler


You've made me (re) realize that there are reasons many of us opted to strike out on our own. It's often easier to influence changes inside of an organization if you are on the outside!


Here is how I define talent:

Each person has three of the following 23 talents very strongly:

Advocacy/Appearance, Bravery/Boldness, Creativity, Deduction, EQ, Financial IQ, Growth, Presence, Induction, Physicial IQ, Kinetic IQ, Language, Manual/Machine IQ, Networking/Navigation, Organizing people, Practicality, Recognition/Matching, Reason, Service, Teamwork, Office work, Visual IQ, Auditory IQ/Music.

Peter Quereinsteiger

Well - I think it also depends on the culture were you are comming from. For example, in Germany you are a talent if you have a degree and career. A career without a degree is not noticed as talent - they call it "success by exident". That's why I prefer the american way "show us what you can do" :-)
As a German, I hate it to be defined by the "German" way.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Steve Roesler, Principal & Founder
The Steve Roesler Group
Office: 609.654.7376
Mobile: 856.275.4002

Enter your name and email address to receive your copy of my coaching eGuide.

Human Resources Today
Business Blogs



  • View Steve Roesler's profile on LinkedIn
Personal Growth from SelfGrowth.com

Get Updates via RSS Feed

  • Enter your email address in the yellow box for FREE daily updates

    Powered by FeedBlitz

Awards & Recognition...

  • Career 100
Alltop, all the top stories