How Hiring Managers Recruit Well by Thinking Outside the Box

Are you trying to find your next great talent? Has the job descriptionPeak performers and great talent hires changed to reflect new technologies or a mash-up of skills?

Bob Cohen of the Atlantic.com recently wrote a blog about how they find their next great talent. As you read this, think of your own industry.

Because of technology, the Atlantic found the lines between various jobs have blurred. They used to hire talent for a specific defined role: a writer or a graphic artist. But, with technology changing the way content is created and displayed, they need flexibility, ingenuity and creativity:

The best hires possess a kind of creativity and entrepreneurialism that my peers and I surely didn’t have at that age. Today’s young web journalists are learning to frame and write stories in innovative ways. And as smart as they are, they’re also playful, ready to bring some fun to the game.”. Bob Cohen

Finding, hiring and keeping peak performers takes more than just data on hard skill sets.  What skills do you value most? In this case, if someone is a diamond in the rough as a writer but is creative, a problem-solver and has passion, is it worth focusing on the “fuzzier” or less quantifiable critical skills over the hard skills? The Atlantic sure thinks so:

In pursuit of journalists with these new skills, we’ve found that it can pay to look in unlikely places. Alan Taylor, who oversees The Atlantic’s crowd-pleasing “In Focus” photo blog, was a web developer at the Boston Globe when he started assembling image galleries on the side. James Hamblin, The Atlantic’s new health editor, is a medical doctor who had just finished his internship in radiology when he joined us as a full-time editor and writer. Neither Alan nor Jim came to us with anything close to a traditional journalism background. But they have the right sensibilities—and the skills to succeed in a new age.”

Where’s your next great hire? What’s their passion? What do they do on the side? What questions can you ask to find their entrepreneurial side? Do you know what’s the most important skill set you need and what can be learned or trained? Food for thought.

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