I’m Tony – and I’m not who or what you think I am!

CategoriesOpinion

This Friday (22 May) at 4pm we’re officially launching Naturally Talented Me (NTM) and the crowdfunding campaign that we hope is going to provide the finance to bring the platform to full operational capacity.

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Just to recap, this is our free to use profiling platform, which draws on associations with hobbies and interests to help disadvantaged and displaced job seekers identify and promote their natural talents. By combining video, images and supporting documents, it automatically creates a three-dimensional, visual profile that highlights individuals’ full potential to employers and helps employers source and hire new talent more accurately.

It’s a concept that has been positively received in general, the only concern expressed being a question of evidence and proof of involvement in said hobbies and interests.

Fair point. We’re all aware how easy it is to makes claims on a CV without providing evidence at least until interview stage, and often not even then. Too often employers only discover that their new recruit is not quite the dream ticket their CV cracked them up to be until they’ve got their feet well and truly under the desk.

But this is another way in which NTM comprehensively outperforms the traditional CV. Supporting evidence is part of the profiling process, in the form of video, imagery and supporting documents such as certificates. Before an employer even meets a candidate, they have a much more rounded impression of who they are and what they can do.

 

How can this insight then be used?

Let me give you a real-life example. I introduce to you: ‘Tony’.

Tony is an ex-special forces operative. You probably now have a picture of ‘Tony’ in your mind’s eye. He probably looks a bit like the bloke pictured above.

 

And his summary might read: ‘Strong, resilient, outdoorsy team player with an unflinching ability to follow the rules and achieve results, regardless of the situation and extremes of pressure.’ And you’d be right. That’s what you get from many years spent in the armed forces, operating in difficult, challenging environments. But that’s not all.

What you DON’T know about Tony is what he spends his free time on. What motivates and inspires him. What floats his boat and pulls his chain. And you may be surprised.

Tony’s voluntary pursuits include:

Caligraphy; Camping; Canoeing/kayaking/Rafting; Cooking and Baking; Cycling inc mountain biking; Dog Walking; Eating out/socialising; Exploring; Filmmaking; Films – watching and cinema; Model building; Painting; Photography – taking and printing; Running; Shooting; Shopping; Swimming; Yoga/Meditation; Reading.

Not the list of activities you might naturally associate with a hardened military type?

 

Which means what?

It means Tony has at his disposal some very powerful natural talents, developed whilst taking part and perfecting his voluntary pursuits, that could (and should) be used in the workplace. Harness THESE as an employer and you start to play to Tony’s REAL motivations; in return you get increased productivity, a greater sense of satisfaction and a genuine desire to stay and contribute to your organisation.

Tony’s ‘hobbies’ indicate a breadth of talents you may never have associated with the ex-special forces operative, but are, in fact, truer to the real Tony and the best indicators of his real potential.

This example starts to introduce the concept of aligning the natural talents required to be successful in a job with those required to take on and, critically, enjoy a voluntary pastime or hobby.

 

What candidate communities does this approach suit best?

If hobbies and interests CAN inform employability – and it is important to be clear that the natural talents highlighted by NTM are used to inform further assessment against essential job requirements, as opposed to providing a definitive match or non-match – then ALL candidate communities can benefit from promoting their voluntary pursuits to add evidence of their capabilities.

But some communities would definitely benefit more: those where educational excellence and breadth and depth of work experience do not stand out; where opportunities to be noticed and to be considered have been smothered by the label that accompanies that individual’s situation or background.

Using the power of natural talents to unearth potential in communities such as SEND, ex-military, ex-offenders, homeless, older workers and NEETs not only makes for a fairer society, it also helps employers to access talent pools that have previously been overlooked and labelled as ‘unsuitable’ or ‘too difficult to engage’.

My question is this: If you had a way to ‘see’ the personality behind the CV and to gain an understanding of their natural talents, would you consider the more challenging candidate communities and individuals such as our Tony? If you could see what you were getting and understand the motivations driving an individual, would you be more prepared to open your doors to such an individual and give them a chance?

If the answer is yes, or even maybe, take a look at the NTM profiling platform, where labels don’t define, natural talents do. Complete your own free profile and see what it reveals about your motivations and natural talents. You may even surprise yourself and end up with new perspective on what you offer the world of work.

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