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How Talent Bubbles up or Settles Down

Recently Roger Hamilton, was asked about the best methods for talent selection. His response was worth repeating. He said that the key to hiring the right talent is to set the selection process to match the frequency you’re looking for. A popularity contest would bring out the Blaze energy, a creative competition would bring out Dynamo, a rigorous online test would bring out Steel and a research submission would bring out Tempo.

Roger James Hamilton is always quick with analogies, and he uses politics to illustrate his point: The US political system is structured as a popularity contest, so every President since Roosevelt has been a Star profile. China is the opposite, where longevity and loyalty are the driving factors, and so all the recent Premiers have been Lord and Mechanic profiles. UK and Australia’s electoral system is based much more on consensus, and so recent Prime Ministers have been Supporter profiles (With the exception of Gordon Brown who, as a Lord profile, was Chancellor of the Exchequer until he took over from Tony Blair without an election. As soon as elections came about, he was voted out, as Lord’s simply don’t have the interpersonal skills the public want to see in their leader, and their weaknesses shine through).

The conversation continued, with Roger Hamilton discussing how these different country systems and the leaders they produce have a direct impact on how well the country can whether economic crises (The US will do what a Star does by trying to spend their way out, while China is doing what a Lord does, which is to increase its control on its purse strings). He also discussed parallels in corporations, and how there are many examples of companies seeking a change in the type of leader they want, but continuing with the same recruitment process and getting the same result. The key message: Don’t focus at the person, focus at the process.

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