Misplaced Talent Book Summary - Misplaced Talent Book explained in key points
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Misplaced Talent summary

Joe Ungemah

A Guide to Better People Decisions

3.4 (18 ratings)
12 mins
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    Misplaced Talent
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    To ensure you get the best applicants, carefully define the job criteria.

    Hiring can be a costly process that many people would prefer to avoid. And yet, so many companies do it badly. In some industries, the turnover rate is around 20 percent. Having to constantly hire a fifth of your workforce will cost an awful lot of time and money.

    These companies are in a state of misplaced talent: they hire the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

    So let’s dive into how we can hire the right people for the right reasons, which starts by creating a framework that properly identifies what is required for the roles you are looking to fill.

    This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how often important criteria such as experience, skills and education are left unspecified.

    Let’s say you have a vacant customer assistance position. Without specific criteria, you could find yourself hiring the candidate with the most colorful résumé, or the one with the Ivy League education, neither of which are actually relevant.

    To avoid this mistake, identify the job’s main criteria – things such as relevant experience in customer service. This way you’ll know just what to look for and avoid having to fill this position again after things go poorly.

    Now, a good list of criteria will include more than just the technical aspects of the job. Companies like Microsoft and Apple have found that an ideal candidate should also fit the cultural framework of the company.

    To identify these criteria, figure out what kind of values your company stands for and what your primary goals are. Are you focused on technological innovation, or maybe you want to provide an exceptional customer experience for travelers?

    Whatever it is, try to ensure that your framework is precise, focused and realistic.

    All too often companies create vague descriptions by saying they're looking for a “talented” or “skilled” person. But this isn’t useful unless you have something to judge that talent against.

    So it’s best to precisely define the skills you’re after and use specific language, and to mention the exact kind of degree you want your candidate to have.

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    What is Misplaced Talent about?

    Misplaced Talent (2015) is a practical guide to hiring the employee best suited for the job and how to keep that employee happy and satisfied. Many businesses don’t even know what skills they should look for in an employee – or, if they do, they’ll forget about keeping that employee motivated once he or she is on board. It’s important to know how to do both of these things, so find out how to avoid all the messy pitfalls and keep your workforce happy.

    Who should read Misplaced Talent?

    • Human-resource employees
    • Readers unhappy with their current job
    • CEOs and managers who want to hire the best people

    About the Author

    Joe Ungemah is a psychologist and an expert on how and why people make the decisions they do. His advice is sought after in the United States, Australia and Europe, where he’s helped a number of major companies find more satisfied employees.

    © Joe Ungemah: Misplaced Talent copyright 2015, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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