Post By: Steve Graef, PhD | Wednesday, March 18, 2020

talent selection business sport arts

In a regular year, this March and April would garner the attention of sports fans towards the annual NFL draft in hopes that their favorites teams select the next hall of famer. Though this isn't solely an NFL draft thing. All major, minor, and even youth sports go through a selection process.Dancers, actors, and musicians all put themselves through an audition process in hopes of landing their dream gig.And organizations recruit, interview, and vet it's professionals to ensure the likelihood of a good match.So regardless of whether you're a coach/athlete, artistic director/artist, or executive/employee, you have personally experienced the impact of selection.Some folks are masters of selection, many of us, however, are missing the mark.In today's article I want to offer some practicalinsight into how to level up our ability to identify and select talent.

1) What matters?

One of the first steps in selecting talent is to identify what matters.As a team, organization, troupe, band what matters to be successful? What pieces and parts are required? For instance, to start your band, do you need a drummer, guitarist, bassist? On your team, you need a pitcher and catcher? In other words, what roles matter and are necessary to get your particular task (e.g., make music, play baseball, baseball, deliver goods) accomplished correctly.Further, knowing that you need a drummer or a pitcher, now it is time consider what kind of drummer or pitcher you want.This speaks a little bit more to the culture and values of your organization. What is the type of organization you want to have and as a result who are the types of people you want to have? What values matter to you?

2) How do you measure what matters?

Some say it doesn't exist if it can't be measured.And though you may not be specifically measuring these roles/values per se, you at least have to know what you are looking for.In regards to dissecting a role, it is critical to consider what level of knowledge or proficiency they need to be successful? For example, what is the level and style of drumming skills you seek for your band? In regards to assessing values, the same thing applies. You've identified “team player” as an essential value that you want your drummer to possess, but how do you know if they have it? What behaviors make up being a “team player”?

3) Whose got what matters?

Now that you know what matters and how to measure for it, next is identifying who internally or externally possesses it. Here you engage in the assessment process by holding auditions, recruiting, or proceeding through some other method. You ask questions or put on simulations that bring out the role/value capacity. You can ask “team player” questions and look for “team player” behaviors and “team player” examples in order to identify how much of a “team player” a person might be. You ask the drummer to play with the band for a song or two to assess skill. By deliberately assessing these role related skills and value-related characteristics, you are able to identify those folks that possess want you desire for your particular squad.

4) Where do they fit?

You have successfully identified an individual that possesses the knowledge, skills, values, and qualities that you want for your organization.Now you have to figure out where they fit. Sometimes this is self-explanatory.Your team player drummer isn't going to become the guitarist.However, in other cases you might have the ability to choose where a person best fits based on their existing skills and abilities.The New England Patriots have become famous for selecting for athletic individuals that fit the culture of the organization.Then, after deciphering an athlete's physical abilities, they place them in the most suitable role.As a result, both the athlete and the organization thrive. Find the fit.

In closing, this brief primer on talent selection might not turn you into a master of it.However, it may allow you to select 5% better than you typically have been simply due to being more aware of and deliberate in how you go about identifying and selecting members of your team, band, troupe, or organization.By asking yourself these four questions, it'll get closer to choosing the right one.