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Saturday, April 14, 2007


Personnel surprises: Finding hidden talent

Most companies have hidden talent resources they have yet to discover. Already on the payroll is often at least one person, who could be given more responsibility, in their job. Untapped abilities are everywhere on the business staff roster. The key is recognizing those diamonds in the rough, and polishing their skills to a lustrous sparkle.

In every business, openings arise for new hirings all of the time. The usual response is to seek the ideal candidate from outside the company. While there are times when bringing in a new person to fill a specific role is necessary, don't overlook the talent already on staff. Promotion from within the organization might be a better long term approach. In fact, in many companies, outside hirings may be best utilized for filling entry level positions. By adding quality staff members at the bottom of the organizational ladder, and helping them to rise ever upward, they learn the company culture, internal systems, and become loyal employees.

Internal training and advancement are powerful incentives for most employees. People who understand that hard work, dedicated service, and quality contributions to the company result in advancement are better employees. Office morale will be much higher, and the sense of team work will be much stronger. The bonds between the employer and staff members are on a much stronger foundation for building with the long term in mind. Knowing that higher level positions are obtainable, and expected to be filled internally, enhances productivity in every way.

For many employers, however, the employee often becomes pigeon holed in their current job description. The skill set of the worker is thought to consist of what is seen on a day to day basis. Other untapped talents are all too often overlooked entirely. When all that is required to groom a person for a more responsible job is simply some training and encouragement, it's a tragedy that many companies never take that chance. Missed talent is lost opportunity for a business.

To discover those well kept secrets, it's essential for business owners and managers to talk to their staff members on a regular basis. Schedule regular individual discussions with every employee. While most staff meetings will focus on the current job functions, make certain that at least every three months a longer term chat is in place.

At that meeting, the topics should be long term employee career plans, training opportunities, advancement possibilities, and how the company can help in achieving those goals. Creating an atmosphere of trust, combined with confidentiality, can help uncover talents that have long been missed.

The best and most productive are very often long term committed employees. Be sure your company reciprocates with a committment to promotion from within, and to ongoing training and staff development programs. Include staffers from every level in creativity and brainstorming events. You might be pleasantly surprised at the talent right under your nose.

Think about finding the hidden talent in your organization. Your bottom line will never look better.

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