Defining Talents & Their Place in the HR Community

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The HR community sees the word ‘talents’ as having multiple references. It can mean obtaining and managing talent, a person or group of people such as a talent pool, and a person’s special trait for something.


In a nutshell, talents are soft skills—or skills that go beyond technical skills (i.e., development, special skillsets, etc.). Talents and soft skills are typically used interchangeably. They refer to things like:

  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Innovation
  • Decision-making skills

The learned experience and skillsets needed to master these talents rely on the human component of the workplace. While technical skills are also taught, talents go one step further since they are much more flexible and adaptable. Technical skills must sometimes be forced to evolve when it comes to technological advancements, which are constantly changing.

Talents & the Hiring Process

While the rigidity of technical skills can provide a convincing, stable element to the hiring process, they won’t tell hiring managers and recruiters how a candidate might be able to handle stress. Ultimately, being able to measure skills is only useful on resumes and in short assessments given during the hiring process. Talents can be analyzed through interviews, questionnaires, letters of recommendation or contact with previous employers, and more. The best way to use talents to bring in the right candidate for a position is to:

  1. Give them realistic scenarios to think through.
  2. Observe (if possible) how they handle the situation.
  3. Pay attention to their awareness, ability to communicate, and teamwork skills with a team (real or hypothetical).
  4. Set a list of desired criteria to reach for when interviewing candidates.

An Approach to Talents

The nature of talents can be seen from a psychological perspective. For example, psychometrics—the measuring of personality characteristics, knowledge, and emotions—is a way to categorize soft skills into what is known as talents today. Studies on the idea of psychometrics have increased alongside collective support that talents (as well as being able to balance them with technical skills) are very important for the hiring process.

Similar to displaying technical skills and knowledge through technical skill assessments, there are talent assessments that do the same basic thing. Implementing a psychological or psychometric perspective can help hiring managers and recruiters understand the likelihood of whether a candidate is a good fit for the company’s culture. This may seem complex, and it is, but it can be easy to understand once people realize how natural talents are.


Talents are blended skills that can be taught or picked up with experience in the workplace. They put a candidate’s personality, teamwork, communication skills, and so much more front and center so hiring managers and recruiters can learn more about them. Talent assessments are also useful because data can be gathered based on criteria the person creating the test specify, and other data like certain candidate demographics could be compared. Utilizing talents in the HR community has a wide array of benefits and very few disadvantages.