Can We Really Spot Talent?

By Mark Vickers

Even as talent management becomes the highest of HR priorities in today’s corporations, some experts are raising questions about our ability to recognize or even clearly describe talent.

Merriam-Webster (2006) defines talent as “the natural endowments of a person.” Yet, some recent research suggests that what we term “talent” has more to do with hard work than with natural endowments. Prof. K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University states that “there is surprisingly little hard evidence that anyone could attain any kind of exceptional performance without spending a lot of time perfecting it” (Dubner & Levitt, 2006).

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