Sunday, December 14, 2008

Who is most likely to succeed?

"There are certain jobs where almost nothing you can learn about candidates before they start predicts how they’ll do once they’re hired." In this week's New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell argues that the process for selecting new teachers sufferes from the same flaws as picking quarterbacks in the annual NFL draft. The skills that drive success for quarterbacks in the college leagues are completely different from those required when playing with the big boys. The same is true for teaches and many other professions.

Here's the problem: we normally recruit and select on cognitive ability. Can you solve these logic problems? Please complete this verbal reasoning test. However, what differentiates the best and the worst teachers is a set of soft skills that they use to bring the classroom alive for all the individual students.

The medical profession is quickly wising up to this. Good doctors are those that can listen, communicate and empathise with their patients. It's what stops hospitals from getting sued. Medical schools are now incorporating much more training on these 'soft skills'.

Rather than use recruiting tests that don't predict success, the education community needs to learn from other professions who have figured out. They need to widen the funnel and let more potential teachers in but then have a meritocratic system that accelerates the most talented and weeds out those who fall well below average.
Questions for you:
1. Do you have a good understanding on which employee talents, strengths & behaviors predict success in your organization?
2. How well do screen for these in your recruiting process?
3. How meritocratic is your organization in accelerating the careers of your high potential recruits and weeding out those who aren't the right match?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting article because i sometimes question how some people have certain positions that either I can't have or don't have yet.

I mean, i think to myself, what kind of lie did they pull off to get that job.

very interesting, it got me thinking