How to Find Real Talent (Go Beyond the Resume)

Resumes are poor predictors of people performance.

Even the most rigorous interview process and entrance exams can only provide a small snapshot of how a person performs in an organization.” Christopher Collins, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. (in an article in the WSJ about how companies try to lure back former employees.)

Help Wanted

LeadershipIQ found the vast majority of new hires were so-so and almost as many failed

within 6 months in their article:

Companies Are Doing a Lousy Job of Attracting Great Talent

Just a tiny group were “exceptionaL” But if resumes don’t predict the future, what does?

Dan Paulson of InVision Business Development wrote this great post. (We reviewed his new book on company differentiation, Apples to Apples, here.) Learn more about Dan here.

We share a brief except here, but we invite you to read the full article at How to Find Real Talent

By Dan Paulson

Believe it or not, there are still companies that are hiring.  As they seek out talent, there might be some things that surprise you.  I was reminded of this after viewing a recent article in the Wall Street Journal Small Business (  Our best talent often isn’t the person with the best technical skills.  Instead it is the person with the best attitude. (Amen, Dan. Can you find “attitude” on a resume?)

Here are Dan’s recommended steps:

  • Determine desired behaviors - what would you like the candidate to do (behave)?
  • Conduct interviews around past experience - not hypothetical. Focus on real activities.
  • Using assessment tools - one more approach, but don’t rely on it too much. Only use it to validate facts or behaviors
  • Let them work with you - have them work with your staff for a few days and pay them for their time. Let your staff analyze them.
  • Look for measurables - look for results. What has this candidate produced?
  • Establish strong communication - set clear expectations and follow-up. This is an area where most companies fail.
Studies have shown that most new hires are so-so, and a lot fail. But very, very few are exceptional. Dan’s great advice here will help you find exceptional candidates.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancy Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at

“If more companies listened to (Find New Customers) a lot more would be sold.” Dan McDade, Pointclear.

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