Are you among the world’s top 1% talent? No?

How about 2%?

Ok let’s try 3%?

Come on – you have to be in the top 5%!

No? OR don’t know?

Damn, you are toast!

I stopped at 5% because simply put, I couldn’t find a so-called new-age job portal/ platform/ recruiting site that has gone beyond 5% (yet). Maybe I am completely off on this but what do such tag lines even mean? If your platform hosts only the top 1% of talent, does that mean the other 99% are not good enough? Or, are you saying that only the top 1% are worth hiring?

What I really want to understand is what this top 1% means – academic pedigree? blue-chip work experience? great communication skills? multi-skilled and can do it all? – perhaps a combination of such and other attributes? Before we go there, let’s assume ‘top X% talent’ exists and ask a slightly different question: if I therefore hire this top X% person, I will definitely get my work done, right? OK fine, there are no guarantees in life but am I at least significantly increasing the odds of getting my work done well?

I am rambling now – so let me give a real example: at my previous company, we hired a developer – good pedigree, ex-Microsoft for 7+ years, articulate, the works – I mean he would have been a top 0.5% talent on paper and per interview performance on any portal – while I still don’t understand the top X% talent concept, I can guarantee this guy would have been right up there ūüôā

Well, after a month of onboarding and another 5 months on the job, he quit. Several reasons but the root cause: the work itself was not exciting enough for him and that’s an absolutely fair basis for his decision of course – however, what a waste of time for him and us!

We were under the pump on the timeline and hired a replacement – this guy went to a college you wouldn’t recognize, had worked at an IT Services firm for ~3 years and certainly not your Mr. Articulate; however, during the interviews, he debated on what we were building and already had good insights on what we could be doing – so we took the plunge and I will tell you, one of the best decisions ever! I mean this guy flew through our project and delivered something way beyond even our own expectations.

Now let me tackle this top X% definition:  the second guy performed well as he connected with the work and this connection made him the absolute right person for the job (forget what top % he was). So, my point being: everyone has some talent or some skill and best results can be achieved when that talent and skill is given the right platform Рdefining a talent pool as some top % is meaningless unless you know exactly what jobs or roles or kinds of work this pool will excel at.

My personal vision for is that the ‘X%” can be ‘100%’ of the talent, not just the 1 or 5% ¬†– it’s a matter of¬†validating¬†the talent’s specific skills that they’re good at and then mapping those skills to the¬†right¬†kinds of roles. So all of you in the 95% of talent pool (myself included), keep the faith!

Given how this topic forms the core basis of what we’re trying to build at, have lots more to say but will pause for any reactions so far…