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Hardwork beats talent

by Sellick Partnership | 21 September 2016

I have been working as a specialist finance recruiter for over ten years and in that time supported hundreds of clients in attracting top talent. I have recruited into a number of sectors, from retail to manufacturing to pharmaceutical, and for businesses ranging from £500k up to multi-billion pound turnovers.

The one thing all these companies have in common is that they want to attract the highest-calibre talent. One problem with that is we are currently facing a talent-short market and many sectors are also experiencing skills shortages. But the other issue I want to focus on and question I want to ask is; are we looking for quick fixes with talent and neglecting the cultural impact within our teams?
Tim Notke, a high school basketball coach said the following quote to motivate his players “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard”.

So, are we taking the easy route? A route with little regard to the long-term effect on the business, its culture, the teams within the company and indeed the prospects for the said ‘crème de le crème’? What happens when candidates outgrow their role or worse, your organisation has several people outgrowing their roles at the same time and you have no opportunities for promotion?

You only need to look at the sporting world to see that bringing in top talent does not always have the desired impact, and in some cases can make the whole operation crumble. Take Rugby League, for example and the negative impact Rangi Chases has had on his recent clubs. A player that in 2011 was the Super League’s “Man of Steel” and now at 29 years old has retired having been sacked from his last two teams. 

Another perfect example is Mario Balotelli, a talented footballer failing to deliver and therefore having a negative impact on the team once again.

Should more businesses and hiring managers therefore focus their attentions to the likes of Leicester City FC and their recent achievement in winning the Premier League against all the odds? Winning the title with handwork, teamwork, comradery and everyone knowing their role with a mutual respect for their colleagues. You only need to look at Jamie Vardy’s house parties to see the togetherness of the team and that shines through on the pitch. For those of you that don’t follow football, Leicester started last season with arguably no star players and ending with at least three high-profile stars to watch.

What Claudio Ranieri has achieved is quite remarkable in the world of sport, but it also highlights the power of staff management, team development and creating a winning culture. He gave his players freedom to perform and to express themselves and helped them develop both mentally and physically. By sheltering them from the outside world and media and giving them self-confidence and belief Claudio was able to build and nurture a strong team to victory. Sure this route is harder; it takes more graft and investment from the management team, but can anyone argue with the end results?

When you are next hiring ensure that you look at the dynamics of your current team, the culture you have created and the development opportunities available to determine the best person to hire instead of automatically looking for a super star from day one.

For help and advice on how to ensure you attract and retain the best talent for your organisation get in touch on 0161 834 1642.