Talent spotting: Identifying your hidden gems

Alex Davda, Head of Assessments at Hult Ashridge shares his insight into the potential pitfalls of talent spotting and how to identifying your best talent for apprenticeships.

Investment in Talent

Investment in people is a key competitive advantage for companies facing unprecedented challenges. Organisations are managing global workforces larger than cities, and the line between work and home life has all but disappeared. Business leaders must support their people to gain the skills needed to succeed and thrive in a fast and unrelenting economic landscape.

Investing in learning enables employees to better adapt their ways of working, remain engaged, secure and productive, while continuing to grow and develop. Learning and development opportunities that support these new skills are everywhere, but how do talent managers know which candidates are suitable for accelerated learning? When identifying potential candidates for apprenticeships, for example, those responsible for putting candidates forward often overlook some critical talent.

Estimating Potential

Estimations of potential have to do with the capability of individuals to handle different kinds of situations and roles that will be first-time challenges for most people. Those with a solid learning orientation and who can quickly respond to diverse, intense, varied and adverse assignments and still eagerly acquire new capabilities and behaviours.

However, when estimating potential, many leaders tend to hold a bias toward certain characteristics. They focus on those who appear smart, confident, charismatic and skilled at forming the relationships they need to advance their careers. They are typically excellent self-promoters with a focus on getting ahead and persistent in their delivery of short-term business results.

Organisations should also place as attention on identifying and developing individuals that are self-aware, humble and reflective. They should look at those that are persistent in their learning and growth, concerned with developing others, have the willingness to build and maintain an engaged team and have a track record of proven long-term contributions.

Apprenticeship talent

The apprenticeship levy provides a unique opportunity for professional talent development achieved through government funding. It enables highly skilled and talented employees to develop and grow, while helping organisations to benefit from immediate impact of more skilled and more engaged employees – all with minimal impact on the organisation’s learning and development budget.

Figures show that the number of organisations taking advantage of the levy are falling. Understandably, those responsible for identifying potential apprentices in their organisation may feel a level of caution. But by selecting the right candidates you could see significant business benefits. The National Apprenticeship Service reports 69% of employees seeing improved staff retention and 73% improved morale. Other benefits include plugging skills gaps, increasing productivity and enabling senior leaders to learn new skills like coaching and mentoring.

How do I identify the right apprenticeship talent?

Taking a step back, looking beyond charm and paying attention to those employees that aren’t on your radar that could truly benefit from the levy.

Our upcoming webinar will help you solve the challenge of identifying your apprenticeship talent to make the most of the levy by through focussing on the right capabilities, defining what potential means for your organization and preparing a strategy for identifying your apprenticeship talent.

There will also be an opportunity for a 1:1 consultation about your apprenticeship talent management.