The mismatch problem in hiring talent

MalcolmGladwellMalcolm Gladwell (author of bestsellers Blink and the Tipping Point) is back, and true to character, takes a fascinating look at the problem of finding the right talent. 

According to Malcolm, pre-hiring tests and assessments are largely useless in determining how a new hire will perform in the real world.  Drawing on examples of professional sports in USA, Malcolm highlights what he called the mismatch problem -  "the criteria we use to to assess someone’s ability to do a job is radically out of step with the actual demands of the job itself". And his conclusion is that there is a mismatch problem in most professions today – teachers, lawyers, police, airlines and so on.

"Mismatch problems grows as the complexity of occupations grow. The world, and the demands of the workplace, has profoundly changed, but the way we hire hasn’t changed", he adds.

If you are in the business of hiring talent, here are a few questions Malcolm’s presentation raised – how do you go about figuring out the right talent for your company? Is there any co-relation between how you screen candidates and how they perform at work?  Are assessment tools ineffective to find talent? If you have a mismatch problem, what would you do to rectify it?

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