Talent Demonstrated Not Time Served

When it comes to staff hires or promotions and volunteer elections and appointments, it's long overdue that we shift emphasis from time served to talent demonstrated.

Marking time alone is not qualification. It's what was contributed and accomplished in the time served that matters more.  Yet, too often the mere fact that one has been present for a number of years is seen as necessary and sufficient for hiring, appointment, or advancement.  Organizing around talent means:
  • Creating job descriptions that specify the talents and qualities successful candidates will possess.
  • Asking application and interview questions that focus more on accomplishments realized and talents demonstrated.
  • Matching talents and skills to position requirements rather than automatic succession to the next job in a hierarchy.
  • Evaluating and cultivating strengths demonstrated and looking for ways to help people manage around their shortcomings (Gallup's strengths-based framework)
There's an old Broadway song that says "time heals everything."  While that may be true for broken hearts and grief, it offers little solace when it comes to cultivating human resources.