Britain’s Got (graduate) Talent!

I know you’re very excited that Britain’s Got Talent will be back on our screens this Saturday. But this blog is about a kind of talent that you won’t see on stage, probably because watching a talented employee would be incredibly boring… maybe that’s why they go unnoticed!

Britain (and come to think of it, every other country in the world!) is full of talented, ambitious, creative and intelligent people who want to be proud of their work and yet all we hear about are the bad ones. Just like when raising children, spending the most time with the ones who act up will only encourage the others to act up. What about the well-behaved? What about the ones who try hard? Well they’re alright on their own so we let them get on with it! Wrong!

We should be nurturing our talent. With unemployment figures at staggering levels we have vast opportunities to find the right person for the role and then help them to grow into the best employees you have, who knows? You could be handing them the reins someday. So here are some tips for spotting undetected talent:


Graduates are funny aren’t they? For the most part their work experience is limited to a check-out job and a degree that earns them no life skills. They are in a catch-22 of no experience –no employment – no experience. And with so many of them unemployed they are literally ripe for the picking by clever companies. Why are graduates so great?

1. although they may not yet have much work experience, they are intelligent (Uni’s not that easy you know) and they are used to working to deadlines. Give them something to do and they will get it done!

2. they are used to learning, so they are happy to learn new skills and grow in your company. If you are willing to support them they can become an excellent asset in a short space of time.

3. they know their stuff. Use them for what they have studied for 3 years. If it’s computers and you have hired them for sales, why not get them to set up an online marketing plan where they will need to do all the coding. If they studied law and you’ve hired them for admin, why not ask them to review the company policies and make sure they’re inline with what’s required.

So you’ve got your talent, but how do your nurture it?

1. Mentor them. Remember when you first started? You weren’t always so clever! Let them learn from your experiences as well as their own.

2. Ask them what they need to help the transition between university and working life. If you can support them with this they’ll be more willing to help the company grow.

3. Train them! You’ll be amazed how fast they’ll learn and apply new skills. If you want to preserve your best people you have to give them opportunities to develop and training is a great way of doing this.

4. Coach them. When you see them for a review, run through the GROW model with them and help them take responsibility, they’ll thank you for your trust and they will repay it.

And most of all, never forget the bottom line: Experience doesn’t always mean Competence. Give someone new a chance, they might just surprise you!

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