5 Attributes of Hidden (and Future) Technical Talent

If you were to look back over the last several hires that you have made, are you able to pair the attributes and characteristics identified during the interview process with the candidate’s work performance? Chances are good that you recognized green, pink, or red flags that later proved to be very telling about their future performance. A primary factor in finding hidden talent involves identifying these hard to measure traits & attributes. Following are five attributes that we recognize as being critically important when recruiting technical professionals.

1. Review Track Record
In the investment world it is said that “past performance is not an indicator of future performance”; within the world of human behavior it could safely be said that “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”. Whether were talking about exercising or smoking a person’s tendency to engage in a particular behavior is highly predictable based upon their past behavior. This includes an individual’s willingness and ability to succeed within a job. When comparing different types of accomplishments, measuring thought processes becomes increasingly important. Hidden talent candidates will have a pattern of demonstrated accomplishments and successes. Prioritize process over content and decision making processes over actions when evaluating a candidates past accomplishments.

2. Interview for Attitude
The most talented people on the planet will consistently fail without some desire to succeed and a passionate desire to succeed will drive a willingness to “do whatever it takes”. This is why attitude is 10 times more important than qualifications. Many times a lack of qualifications provides a powerful motivator to succeed to ‘prove doubters wrong’.

3. Test for Intelligence
Second only to attitude in assessing a candidates ability to be wildly successful within a job is their capacity to learn quickly. For technical positions that require continual learning, intelligence will trump qualifications. Some options for measuring intelligence include using a third-party IQ test, creating your own test, or architecting some well thought out interview questions and probing the processes used to come up with a solution.

4. Seek out Self Managers
Extensive landholding of an employee is one of the most frustrating tasks for any manager. The ‘hand-holder’ candidate either needs to be consistently told what to do – or how to do something – and typically can not . A strategy for accomplishing a bigger picture goal of the organization. Hidden talent candidates will be able to provide specific examples of challenges that their organizations faced in which they were able to architect and implement a solution.

5. Know the Candidates 5 Year Plan
It is in the best interest of both Company and Candidate to envision a mutually beneficial future. An important first strep involves understanding the Candidates primary motivators, beliefs, and goals. The Hidden Talent Candidate should be able to clearly articulate their ideal future within your company. Along with proving you with terrific input this step will substantially improve your future hires loyalty.

Chip Cameron holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Industrial #Engineering and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, both from the University of Central Florida #UCF. His experience includes working as a Project Engineer, Marketing Engineer, Systems Engineer, Systems Analyst and Sr. Business Analyst for companies such as Siemens Westinghouse and FedEx Services. Chp is an owner of Cameron Resources Group LLC (a technical recruiting company) and T4 Systems a recruiting training organization and specializes in the #hire of extraordinary #programmer and #engineer candidates for #contract and full-time roles.

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