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Talent is a thing – a very measurable, valuable thing

Opinion New! Written by John Berry on 15th January 2018. Reading time: 5 minutes.

On BBC Radio 4, Margaret Heffernan, the writer and entrepreneur, mounts an attack on the idea that talent is a good predictor of future performance - and hence it should not be used in recruitment selection. Her article is a good listen but a bit muddled. Here we clarify and suggest that talent is not the useless thing that Margaret Heffernan suggests, but a multi-dimensional set of characteristics about each candidate that need to be known before making a job offer.

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So, what jobs to recruit to next?

Opinion New! Written by John Berry on 10th January 2018. Reading time: 4 minutes.

So what jobs to recruit to next? Increasing staff numbers is a scary prospect. No manager wants to get it wrong. You can't guess. You've no precedent. You can't ask a friend because all firms are different. You must model the company and evaluate each option for its effect on the company and it's KPIs. And it becomes all the more difficult when considering indirect roles like sales people, marketers and other support staff. They could drive the firm to light speed. It's always a tough call.

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Recruiting when there's a skills shortage

Opinion Written by John Berry on 2nd January 2018. Reading time: 5 minutes.

The UK’s academic institutions are not turning out enough software engineers. Demand dramatically exceeds supply. This exemplifies the problem in many domains in the UK. So how do hiring managers find specialists? The key thing is to hire those with the right profile to contribute and learn. Profiling of personal characteristics and search for those must take precedence over high-level statements like ‘must be proficient in coding in MS.NET’. Coding and other specialist competencies can be learned.

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Deconstructing software roles: understanding the jobs of an industry

Opinion Written by John Berry on 25th December 2017. Reading time: 5 minutes.

The job that a software professional does is linked to where on the lifecycle they work and how much of that lifecycle they embrace. It also depends on how much of the technology they cover – user interface or full-stack. And salaries go with those definitions. Here's the structure of the industry.

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How hiring managers should differentiate one young applicant from another

Opinion Written by John Berry on 19th December 2017. Reading time: 4 minutes.

Hiring managers are faced with young people seeking apprenticeships and employment without previous experience in the mainstream workplace. So what should hiring managers do to judge which young person will perform well in the role? Since vocational identity predicts performance, hiring managers should listen to the young person's story.

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The role of training in culture change

Opinion Written by John Berry on 18th December 2017. Reading time: 3 minutes.

Whilst training interventions can indeed change the whole organisation, the culture change scenario differs from ‘normal’ training. ‘Normal’ training is in pursuit of change in competencies in individuals. Change in culture involves change in the way things are done in the organisation – the normative behaviour of all. Here's how they differ.

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Why some people are developable and others not

Opinion Written by John Berry on 1st December 2017. Reading time: 4 minutes.

If everyone would strive, achievements would drive outcomes. If managers could get everyone striving for growth, their organisations would grow. Achievement and growth are key to sustainable business so it’s in everyone’s interest to strive. Here's how to achieve it.

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