Show (Your Talent), Don't Tell

There's a classic marketing phrase, "Show, Don't Tell," which reminds practitioners to demonstrate their product's benefits to consumers (vs. simply claiming the benefit with a passive description). In a similar manner, finding an effective and fair way for your organization's potential hires to "show" their talent (before they join your organization) is something that crowdsourcing can help with. 

In the April 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review, the article "Auditions Are the Best Way to Hire" profiles the CEO of Automattic (the company behind Wordpress), Matt Mullenweg, and his advice on building a strong team. They found that the typical interview and résumé screening process was still yielding too many new hires that didn't work out. They needed to see how potential teammates performed and meshed with current employees, so they now do "tryouts" or auditions.

"The more we thought about why some hires succeeded and some didn’t, the more we recognized that there is no substitute for working alongside someone in the trenches." - Matt Mullenweg, HBR Magazine

Advanced open innovation crowdsourcing platforms offer this same opportunity for participants to demonstrate their talents in a variety of interesting online activities, contests and programs. Creative innovation challenges can be designed within a persistent crowdsourcing community to allow companies to observe the crowd's behavioural trends and understand whether a participant is most comfortable in the role of (for example) an idea generator, a social connector, a leader, a follower, a mentor, or even a lurker. By observing the participation of participants over time, with different styles of challenges presented, emergent data trends can offer up valuable information that can help uncover hidden talent in an employee population, filter out creativity naysayers in a supply chain, or source trendsetters in a global customer community. Talent is revealed and confirmed over time.

HBR Magazine, April 2014

HBR Magazine, April 2014