Book review: The Rare Find

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by George Anders

The Rare Find, by George Anders
The Rare Find, by George Anders

What is the rare find, you may ask? No, it's not the perfect cup of coffee and neither is it a free parking space in the most convenient spot near the office.

According to the US business journalist George Anders, it is great talent - that genius person who outperforms all-comers. "There's a huge difference between the very best performers and everyone else," he writes. "In terms of productivity, there's a five-to-one gap."

So how can we win the war for talent? Anders has tracked down talent scouts in every field, from Hollywood casting agents to venture capitalists, to find out how to spot the hidden 'tells' that matter.

To do this, one must first undergo a mind-shift when recruiting new candidates. "The best assessors in any field look at people differently," explains Anders. These judges focus on candidates' underlying character and motivation, rather than sticking to traditional measures of success.

The best person for the job might not tick all the right boxes when it comes to education and experience, but they will have that certain 'je ne sais quoi' when it comes to character and motivation. "Rather than insist on perfect pedigrees, make room for a least a few offbeat candidates," Anders writes.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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