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

3.8 (30 ratings)
12 mins

Brief summary

"Misplaced Talent" by Joe Ungemah is a leadership book that reveals how organizations can better utilize their talented employees by aligning their skills to the right roles. It provides tools and techniques for optimizing talent management and driving performance.

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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.

    Misplaced Talent Review

    Misplaced Talent (2022) tells an intriguing story about rediscovering our true potential and finding fulfillment in unexpected places. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Explores the concept of unconventional talent with captivating anecdotes, showing how unique strengths can lead to extraordinary success.
    • Offers practical strategies for tapping into our hidden talents, inspiring readers to embrace their passions and pursue unconventional paths.
    • Presents a fresh perspective on success and fulfillment, challenging societal norms and encouraging readers to think outside the box.

    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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    Misplaced Talent FAQs 

    What is the main message of Misplaced Talent?

    The main message of Misplaced Talent is that talent alone is not enough for success; it needs to be directed and harnessed effectively.

    How long does it take to read Misplaced Talent?

    The reading time for Misplaced Talent varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is Misplaced Talent a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Misplaced Talent is worth reading as it explores how talent can be underutilized and provides insights on how to leverage it for greater success.

    Who is the author of Misplaced Talent?

    Joe Ungemah is the author of Misplaced Talent.

    What to read after Misplaced Talent?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Misplaced Talent, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Hire With Your Head by Lou Adler
    • Hiring Success by Jerome Ternynck
    • Game Changer by Michael Solomon and Rishon Blumberg
    • From Strength to Strength by Arthur C. Brooks
    • How to Lead Smart People by Arun Singh and Mike Mister
    • The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron
    • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick M. Lencioni
    • Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop
    • The Essential HR Handbook by Sharon Armstrong & Barbara Mitchell
    • Everybody Matters by Bob Chapman & Raj Sisodia