This image has been floating around LinkedIn for a few weeks now. It’s drawn tons of attention and has seen more engagement than it deserves. Reason being is because it’s flat out wrong. It just is. But everyone seems to agree with it.
On the surface, it’s easy to understand why people would like it. It lists out 10 intangible skills that are hard to quantify and makes the case that these skills require zero talent, implying that anyone should be able to perform them with ease. And in here lies the problem. The fact is that finding an applicant with all 10 of these skills isn’t an easy task. In fact, it’s a rarity. Finding someone with 5 of them would be a blessing.
I would argue that the 10 “things” written on this board actually define talent, as opposed to requiring none of it. Saying that these skills require zero talent dismisses those who have honed their intangibles, and are actually extremely talented, getting them focused on the wrong things and moving their attention away from some of their strengths. This is all because we simply don’t know how to quantify and accurately measure them.
Look, anyone who’s willing to put in the work can learn a tangible skill these days. There are tons of websites that can help you level up – Skillsoft, Skillshare, and Codeacademy are just a few of the places you can check out. Skills are essentially a commodity. But the 10 things listed on this whiteboard are not. In fact, you’d be more likely to find 100 candidates who are more than qualified for the job based off what’s listed in your job posting than you would 3 that have the soft-skills needed to actually get the job done. Intangible skills require personality traits that don’t necessarily show up on a resume or even in an interview. These take time and awareness for people to develop. And companies know it. That’s why most have a 90-day post-hire probation period.
However, these are the skills that separate a great employee from a good one. That’s why a thorough screening of your prospective candidate’s social networks should be part of your recruiter’s screening processes. Using deep social listening can help recruiters thoroughly evaluate your top applicant’s social profiles and give you a better idea to which candidate is the right fit for your organization and, more importantly, its culture.