Before I get shot down in flames, let me explain.

It’s all about diversity and the genuine appreciation that combining different views, opinions, perspectives and cultures is a positive thing for businesses and communities alike. But this is all too often countered with a reluctance to embrace ‘difference’ and a wariness of ways and attitudes that we just don’t quite understand. We really have got to get over this – collectively – and now is the moment we have been granted. The planets are aligned.

Here at Naturally Talented Me we have been challenging stereotypes for a while and questioning the sense in using random qualifications as a filter for matching role requirements with individuals when in many cases the overriding employability differentiator is personality, behaviour and attitude.

That’s like buying a car for its 0 to 60 performance when your requirement is to transport a family of six, plus a dog and a boot full of holiday paraphernalia to Cornwall in comfort. You’re simply using the wrong criteria and missing out on the options that better suit your need. You wouldn’t do that – right? But we do it in recruitment ALL THE TIME! We use filters to screen out candidates that are at best irrelevant and at worst discriminatory.

Keep doing the same and we end up with the same. Think differently and we will inevitably end up with a fresher and more diverse set of ‘matches’ than before . Matches that are potentially far better aligned and will deliver better results.

  • Stage one is to remove the filter (prejudice) and empty the search criteria field.
  • Stage two is to be open to all options, regardless of background, circumstance or label.
  • Stage three is to view talent based solely on the criteria needed to deliver the best results. Consider the broadly untrainable Natural Talents you MUST have to drive success.

With these three tenets in place, the lens you use to look at ‘talent’ becomes very different. It extends way beyond traditional talent pools and opens up unexplored potential – and with that comes access to advantages you have previously never accessed. The different thinkers, the left field problem solvers and the alternative innovators – quite possibly the difference that will make your product, service or experience stand out in a vanilla world of sameness.

Let me introduce you to such an advantage: Cameron.

Cameron is on the autistic spectrum and some might categorise him as ‘disadvantaged’ as a result of his diagnosis.

Cameron also happens to be one of the most articulate, visionary and astute individuals I have ever come across for his age (and beyond). Even though he is autistic? Or maybe BECAUSE he is autistic?

You can listen to his take on natural talents here:

And in all walks of life there are anomalies: individuals that buck the trend and challenge the traditional view; individuals from discounted communities that bring that spark of something very special. The challenge is finding them and accommodating their quirks and nuances – because the upside to their disadvantage is far outweighed by the advantage they will bring to your organisation.

The world is a changed place, and whilst the catalyst for that change has been as challenging a situation as many of us have ever faced, we have the opportunity to salvage much good from a pretty disastrous few months.

BUT we need to act, and we need to act with authenticity and a belief that things can and should be different. Not just now but in the future, and forever. To waste this opportunity to act on the momentum brought about by a global pandemic and a realisation that prejudice is more prevalent than we would like to think would be a crime upon a crime; an unforgivable slight on a generation that is perfectly placed to affect real change and to alter things for the better.

Start today by thinking differently about what will help your business reimagine itself in the new world that’s just around the corner. Embrace different and reap the rewards of a more diverse and inclusive workforce. – your key to unearthing true talent.