Meet the consultants matching talent with opportunity. Their unique approach takes on conservative ideas of recruitment and development. Going beyond the standardised resume review and experienced based job matches, these women harness analytic psychologist Carl Jung’s central concept of individuation; identifying personality and integrating opposites in order to build the most effective teams.
Spaces: Can you tell us about how you began?
Barbara: True Talent Services began around two years ago before all of the talent management hype. We had made a number of strong observations during our careers, how people can become so easily disengaged with their work and their team, or how they can become ill from being placed in the wrong setting, so we wanted to formulate a way in which you simply get the best out of people. When people are happy at work they really work effectively.
Inge: Our CV’s talk about skills and about experience, which is good for a specific role, but it doesn’t say anything about who we are; our nature, our most defining characteristics, our assets and our drawbacks. These are things that are independent of a role. When you are at work you are in a role, but when you leave that environment you are still the same person with the same nature, and some of the talent that you have in your private time is not in your job; so we looked for a tool that measures people based on their nature and matches that with jobs that will suit them best.
How do you go about measuring peoples’ talents and character traits?
Inge: We have an online questionnaire of sixty multiple choice questions based on statements. The candidate then has to impulsively choose their response to that statement. Then we get a personality report based on four characteristics of Jung’s theories. It’s very in depth, but that’s exactly why it’s so effective.
Barbara: We have the ability to translate job vacancies into talents. It’s a method, you create a team – “the job talent team”, for example, a Director, Team Manager and HR Representative. They answer 45 questions about the job, then the outcome shows how in line they are with each other in what they are looking for. They usually all have very different ideas about the people they are looking for.
Inge: We then guide them by saying, “if you choose this then it will have an effect on this” or “this is an impossible combination – it’s like looking for a sheep with five legs!”. It might be something simple like the Director is not communicating in the lower levels about mission and vision in enough detail. We often see in companies that the different members of the team have differing expectations of what is needed in a certain role. People have different perspectives and thus look for different talents. But in order to find the person that fits you need to reach unanimity.
So, there are lots of variables to consider in this team development service. It’s not just about talents in work but personality is a big part.
Inge: Absolutely. There are a lot of instruments defining jobs and talents. Mostly what we do is an instrument, it’s not a goal in itself. We look for solutions and search for things that can truly be found. That’s what our strength is; we guide those processes and we make sure that the talents are actually integrated in those processes.
You also have to let go of things. Companies are still looking for very experience based CV’s regarding education and training, but actually in most cases it’s more important to go for a person with a talent for it, because they are the most likely to develop themselves much faster and want to succeed in that role. Many organisations after the crisis are looking for such approaches, because they have a very lean organisation they need to choose the best people to work in a team.
Barbara: We try to motivate organisations, if they have two candidates for example, to take the one with less work experience but who is a better match. The candidate with the most experience doesn’t always mean that they fit better. It’s important to keep in mind how this person acquired their experience; was it with ambition and joy, or was it with tears and sleepless nights? These are things that you can’t tell from a piece of paper.
So this is a much more human approach to team development. Placing experience secondary to talent is quite unusual but very refreshing.
Inge: It’s a simple difference between competences and talent. Not having the relevant education or experience doesn’t necessarily hinder how you will perform. I mean, how do you choose your education? Is it based upon what your parents want? What you see has good and valuable expectations for the future? There are so many reasons why you choose an education, it’s not always based upon passion or genuine interest.
Barbara: And competences – they are man made. I remember in 2000 until 2005, every company wanted competence management. Then you have degrees in how the competences are built up from junior to senior, but if you have a competence, it doesn’t say how you got it. Whether it’s legitimate, whether you got it stress free. But what we know is that if your talent fits to the job or vice versa, then you’ll develop that competence so fast and with a lot of joy.
Inge: It doesn’t cost that much energy, because it’s already so much from your own nature. It’s a natural development. You’re genuinely interested in it, so your confidence increases and you rise to the challenge. This filters through to every aspect of the job.
How did you become so passionate about this process of organic personal development?
Barbara: Because we see that it works! In the end, we’re idealists. We know that if you work from your talent, you communicate more easily, you build connections with people, you get better results, you have more confidence, so it makes a person’s life much better.
Inge: There are so many jobs that can’t be fulfilled because of their profiles, but we believe that if you just let go and look to the human and their talent, there can be great matches for people out there. A company would be very happy with the right talent. So it’s a new approach. I think the approach until now doesn’t bring a lot.
Barbara: When we look at a lot of companies today, their habits, how they structure and organise, how they communicate, they’re still very traditional. Our approach really sees lasting results in the future of collaboration and communication within the team, as well as harnessing employees talents to achieve high business goals.
What types of clients do you work with?
Barbara: It’s so diverse. We work with lots of SME’s as well as project teams with universities and the government: People who are looking for game changers. We travel to these places and make talent profiles, then work with the team to select the best matches based upon their talents and attributes.
Inge: We are working to implement this talent focused recruitment into the government, starting with their own HR department. They want to first experience everything before they commit to doing it with the whole organisation. We also work with schools and production companies to develop teams. Its versatility means it can be applied to any industry at any level.
What advice would you give to people whose businesses are growing?
Barbara: Especially for smaller companies, it’s important that you are one hundred percent sure that the person that you hire is a person that you can work with. Financially, investing in people is more risky. Lots of smaller companies tend to recruit people that are like them and who they feel a good connection with. But most of the time this means that they have the same talent profile as you. When actually, what you need is someone who is a different kind of thinker; someone who is complimentary but not the same. That’s a big pitfall for a lot of people. So my big recommendation is to be aware of that and take it into consideration, because it’s such an investment.
Inge: … And that’s exactly where we come in.
Great, thanks both.