The art and science of talent search: how to spot, assess, woo, and retain highly talented people.
How do you find talent with a creative spark? To what extent can you predict human creativity, or is human creativity something irreducible before our eyes, perhaps to be spotted or glimpsed by intuition, but unique each time it appears?
Obsessed with these questions, renowned economist Tyler Cowen and venture capitalist and entrepreneur Daniel Gross set out to study the art and science of finding talent at the highest level: the people with the creativity, drive, and insight to transform an organization and make everyone around them better.
Cowen and Gross guide the reader through the major scientific research areas relevant for talent search, including how to conduct an interview, how much to weight intelligence, how to judge personality and match personality traits to jobs, how to evaluate talent in online interactions such as Zoom calls, why talented women are still undervalued and how to spot them, how to understand the special talents in people who have disabilities or supposed disabilities, and how to use delegated scouts to find talent. Talent appreciation is an art, but it is an art you can improve through study and experience.
Identifying underrated, brilliant individuals is one of the simplest ways to give yourself an organizational edge, and this is the book that will show you how to do that. Talent is both for people searching for talent and for those who wish to be searched for, found, and discovered.
“Talent is what happens when two brilliant and profoundly iconoclastic minds apply their imagination to one of the hardest of all business problems: the search for good people. I loved it.”
—Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of The Bomber Mafia and The Tipping Point
"Talent is everything—whether in investing and building startups, or in other creative endeavors. Between product, market, and people, I've always bet on the last one as the biggest predictor of success. But while talent may be everywhere, it's unevenly distributed, and hard to 'find.' So how do we better discover, filter, and match the best talent with the best opportunities? This book shares how, based on both scientific research and the authors' own experiences. The future depends on this know-how."
—Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz
"The most important job of any leader is to find individuals with a 'creative spark,' and the potential to discover, invent and build the future. If you want to learn the art and science of spotting and empowering exceptional people, Talent is brimming with fresh insights and actionable advice."
—Eric Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Futures and former CEO of Google
"Two of the premier talent spotters working today, Cowen and Gross have written the definitive history of identifying talent. Anyone who is interested in innovation, entrepreneurship, or the roots of America's start-up economy must read this book."
—Christina Cacioppo, CEO and co-founder of Vanta
"I do not know of any skills more worth developing than the ability to find exceptional undeveloped talent. I have spent many years trying to get good at that, and I was still astonished by how much I learned reading this book."
—Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI
"Talent is a provocative tour of the considerations and assumptions that go into hiring."
"[A] thoughtful guide … Managers looking to shake up the interview process will find this worth a look."
"A useful and entertaining map for companies looking toward a creative future."
"[A] compelling and thought-provoking guide to finding great people."
"Talent presents new insights into the process of hiring. … In an era of information overload, Cowen and Gross have provided a useful book to remind us that if talent is rare, as it surely is, the ability to spot it may be equally exceptional."