Employer Branding

The Origins and Benefits of Hidden Employee Talents

In every company, there are a number of hidden talents. Some are fairly predictable. Regardless of whether or not it’s part of their job duties, there will always be employees who are gifted at speaking, presenting, selling, writing, managing, etc. But there will also be other talents that employees possess that are hidden deep below the surface and may not be so beneficial to their role at the company…or are they?

During my tenure at my current company, we have had a number of musicians in the recruiting department, of which I am one. Additionally, we have had a variety of artists and athletes that have all contributed to our work output and company culture in their own unique ways. In my experience, companies who employ workers with unique and diverse talents not only see it pay off in a fun and collaborative work culture, but see a number of ancillary benefits from those talents as well. Let’s look at a few examples.

The Musician

Someone asked me recently if I noticed a similarity in the rhythm I feel when playing music and the rhythm of writing an advertisement or blog. My answer was that I didn’t notice a similarity in rhythm, but I did in the detail orientation used for each. Anyone who has played music knows that a common characteristic of an accomplished musician is extreme meticulousness. The difference in an eighth note and a sixteenth note on a sheet of music is a single flag on the note stem; the difference in timing only milliseconds. Yet playing the wrong note at the wrong time can change the feel of an entire song. Do I use the detail orientation skills I learned as a musician when writing ads and blogs? Every single day.

The Dancer

Brittney Barr, Sourcing Analyst for Insperity Recruiting Services, grew up as a dancer, and later became a dance coach. This instilled in her a number of lifelong skills that have served her throughout her career. According to Brittney, “Getting on a stage and performing in front of hundreds of people takes confidence, poise and a ton of hard work and practice. For those recruiters who have worked on difficult ‘purple squirrel’ positions, it can be highly frustrating and seem nearly impossible at times. Thoughts that come to mind are, ‘Candidates with those qualifications don’t exist,’ ‘I’m never going to get someone interested in this job,’ or ‘The pay is too low.’ Yet somehow, we find the right person to fill each job. It’s very similar to mastering a dance skill or technique; it takes persistence and countless attempts before finally getting the big ‘win’ moment. My perseverance and persistence learned in dance has helped me tremendously in my recruiting career.”

The Martial Artist

Michael Deeb, Sourcing Analyst for Insperity, became involved in mixed martial arts as a form of “exercise with a purpose.” He was attracted to the sport as a former student of Kuk Sool Won martial arts and found it a good way to stay in shape beyond weight training. When reflecting on how his MMA training helps as a Sourcer, Michael says, “Persistence is the key trait. In order to be successful in both recruiting and fight training, you can’t be willing to throw in the towel. Digging deeper into the skills involved in becoming a true fighter and a Sourcer are very similar. It’s a mind-over-matter battle to keep pushing until you’ve exhausted all resources, either physically or on the web.”

The Photographer

Angi Lewis, Senior Recruiting Specialist for Insperity, has always been passionate about two things – helping people and photography. Having been a recruiter for over 15 years, she still feels the same excitement when extending an offer to that perfect candidate who she knows will be an asset to her client. In her private life, photography has always been a great outlet to express her creativity and share her view of the world. According to Angi, “Having recently started my own photography business on the side, I’ve come to realize that connecting with people and capturing the essence of who they are in a photograph has become the common denominator in my work. In my recruiting career, this ability to make people comfortable and get them to truly open up and share their motivators, their passions and their goals has allowed me to more effectively assess and determine the right interpersonal and cultural fit – not only for my clients, but for the candidates as well. Anyone can match skills to a job. The art of recruiting, in my opinion, is to truly match the person to the career.”

Just as in any field, there are several skills and traits required for being successful in the recruiting field – perseverance, determination, attention to detail and people skills are just a few. However, employees don’t learn these skills exclusively on the job, but rather from a variety of activities and disciplines outside the workplace. It’s the supplementary knowledge and experience they carry with them that can then be shared with coworkers and contributes to a unique and fun work environment.

Wikipedia defines Synergy as the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. In an office culture, employees’ unique talents, personalities and past experiences combine to give the workplace far more character than any one employee could contribute individually. So what unique talents and abilities contribute to your workplace synergy?

By John Feldmann

John Feldmann is a Senior Communications Specialist for Insperity in Houston, TX. With over a decade of marketing and employment branding experience in the recruiting and human resources industries, John specializes in employment- and HR-related content development for a variety of media types in order to communicate Insperity's brand to both business professionals and job seekers. Follow John on X @John_Feldmann.