What would it be worth for you to find the next superstar for your industry? How would that change your organization? Many leaders are scouring external talent pools to find that one in a million, but chances are they are right in your back yard. The problem is you may be looking for the wrong things and overlooking talent for all the wrong reasons.

The newest YouTube sensation is a man named Ted Williams. Until yesterday, he was homeless and panhandling at an off ramp of I-71 in Columbus, Ohio. He held a sign that said he had a “God given voice” for radio. He knew his talent, but no one else seemed to be interested. A videographer from the Columbus Dispatch asked him to work for his money and he put it on video.

What signs are you’re employees holding up that showcase the skills that are not being utilized? Pay attention to what they talk about. They could have a hobby or work activity outside of work that could bring value to what they do at work. They are obviously passionate about it, so why not bring that passion to the workplace.

Hidden talent is one of the most common ways organizations consistently leave money on the table with their current talent pool. What are some things that you can do to find those diamonds in the rough in your organization?

  • Adam Harlow

    Wonderful post, I still can not believe the story about Ted Williams. He sounds like he has really turned things around. I think Google is a great companies that looks for hidden talents in there employees. It would be a great strategy for other companies to follow.

  • You’re right Adam. There are a number of companies out there who are starting to get it right when it comes to talent recognition. A lot of work has been done on quantifying talent and the seemingly “immeasurable” soft skills. I use one in my work and it’s amazing to see how readily it makes this challenge much easier. Thanks for your insight Adam!