Emerging technologies mean the “war for talent” has never been more ferocious. The candidate pool is growing but the number of people who possess raw, natural talent remains small and elusive. Only those who take steps to identify talent both within and outside of their organizations will stay ahead of the competition and thrive in the new business landscape.
With A.I and bots becoming more common, business-client interactions (both internal and external) have fundamentally changed. In some cases, there is no need to have person to person transactions at all. As such, it is essential that we fill the “human” roles with the most talented people available when these interactions are necessary — otherwise, the cost could be very high.
For example, most banking is now done online. A.I guides us to the result we’re trying to achieve through FAQ’s or pre-programmed responses to keyword indicators in questions. It is only when we’re unable to come to a satisfactory solution that we then reach out to the bank via helpline or in-branch visit. Bearing in mind the customer is now likely frustrated or upset, it is imperative that these person to person interactions are handled by somebody with the natural talent and ability to diffuse the situation and come to a solution which will not only satisfy the customer but will also benefit to the organization.
Otherwise, it would be all too easy for a disgruntled customer to take their business elsewhere — they could actually go onto a competitor’s mobile app and transfer their funds there while they were still in the branch!
The talent to successfully interact with people cannot be practiced to excellence. If an individual is not naturally talented in building these relationships, they will feel outside of their comfort zone and perform poorly. Those who do excel thrive in these moments; it is their hard-wired way of thinking and behaving.
Sites like Yelp or Glassdoor have made anyone and everyone a consumer watchdog with a global audience. Therefore, one bad experience for a customer — and one bad review later — could lose an organization not only that individual but perhaps dozens of existing or future clients; and if the post goes viral, potentially thousands.
We’ve all read horror stories of passenger mistreatment from airline cabin crew or poor customer service from suppliers. As a result, our perceptions of those brands become irreparably damaged. Again, the strengths or talents of the individuals who can manage these situations successfully, such as high positivity and response to negativity, will be present to a much larger degree than the individuals we hear about in these stories.
So, how do we address this problem?
A CV or resume will only tell us of a person’s experience, and with more people than ever entering the workforce at graduate level, we also have an abundance of academically qualified candidates.
So, what is the differentiator? Talent.
Talent cannot be gleaned from a resume, nor is it apparent in a degree certification. Talents are natural patterns of thought, feeling and behavior which are not acquired through effort, education or experience and, as much as every role is different, the talents required to be a top performer in those roles are different too.
For instance, the type of relationship-building skills for one dealing with internal stakeholders will be different than those needed for one dealing with external clients (think an HR professional vs. a salesperson). To discover if a candidate has the “right stuff,” we must assess each candidate and current employee with a role-specific, scientifically validated evaluation which highlights exactly the similarities, or lack thereof, between them and the top performers in these roles.
Once the right person is in place, we must then ensure that we invest in developing these talents. We can look at it through this simple equation:
(TALENT + FIT) X INVESTMENT = GROWTH
In conclusion, we could say that although our interactions as customers and employees are becoming predominantly technology based. In order to “future proof” our organizations, it is arguably more important than ever before to make certain that we are hiring or promoting the best, those who live in the demands of these roles — and for this we must look to talent.
Darrin Marshall is the Director of Business Consulting at Talent Plus®. He is based at our Asia-Pacific Office in Singapore.