Hiring a star performer for your business is not easy. And with the war for talent only becoming more competitive, questions are already beginning to form as the future of recruitment remains wavered.

For example, what happens when the experienced talent pool shrinks? Or when the best talent becomes too costly? Perhaps your star hire decides to jump ship, then who can fill their shoes?

With more questions than answers about the future of identifying our ideal hire, perhaps we should start considering the alternative…candidate cloning?

As a relatively new concept, this article is based on information from Matthew Jeffrey ‘Recruitment 5.0 The Future of Recruiting – the Final Chapter’.

So what’s the theory?

Whilst there’s enough talent to fill roles, companies want to gain competitive advantage by hiring the best talent. But what’s the difference?

All skills being equal, what distinguishes top performers from the average is what behavioral researchers call “emotional intelligence competency.” 

According to Goleman’s paper ‘Working with Emotional Intelligence’, he studied the competencies of star performers within 286 organisations worldwide. Twenty common competencies were identified and classified within four broad categories. Yet three of the categories are emotional competencies.

Whilst this isn’t saying cognitive abilities don’t play a role in star talent, the research does indicate that if you have two individuals with comparable technical skills, the individual with stronger emotional intelligence will be more successful.

The solution

If companies are intent and focused on hiring the best performers, maybe it’s time for businesses to consider creating their own educational facilities or training programmes to prepare future talent for their company?

We already know that many companies already sponsor courses and partner with academics, so it would make sense as the next natural step to help support, nurture and bring on-board the best talent.

Whether it would appeal to candidates, graduates, students and job seekers is another question entirely. But it seems fair to say, with a huge proportion considering a degree to be a waste of time and money (today’s employer wants experience), students may be better off taking advantage of such initiative.

What next?

Whilst many concepts of candidate cloning are already resonating today, in reality, it is still a long way off.

To hire this calibre of talent requires a radical change in thinking by businesses, and especially recruiters. It’s about recognising recruitment is not just the skills to do a job, but how significant one can be. And perhaps the question isn’t how do we find the best talent, but how much talent are we missing out on? 

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