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The Four Talent Pillars – Building the Future of Work on Strong Foundations

22 October 2019

Story by
Sarah Rice


by Alex Linley, CEO of Capp

Creating a robust talent pipeline in these changing times is an increasingly tall order. Hiring, developing and transforming the talent who will respond to evolving market and business demands has never been more critical for employers.

Asking the Right Question

So, what are we doing wrong? Paradoxically nothing, we just need to ask the right question – ‘what’s missing?’.

When hiring, companies need to present themselves in the best light by providing realistic job previews and insights into their vision, values and expectations.  Candidates need the chance to show their authentic best selves, demonstrate their ability and potential in response to real life scenarios and to gain enough information to make an informed career decision. This powerful two-way engagement enables companies to select people who will thrive in their organisation and drive success.

When developing and transforming talent, you will only get the best from people if you know who they really are and what they can bring, just as people will only be able to deliver their best if they know what is expected of them from the organisation.

The Four Pillars of Talent

We have built the ability to assess with authenticity on our four pillars of talent:

Strength Expertise

Identifying what people can do and love to do, the things they do well, do often and enjoy doing. Many companies are now embracing strengths-based hiring, development and transformation to experience these results for themselves, as well as recognising the significant increase in diversity that strengths-based talent solutions deliver. When we evaluate people for being human (their strengths), it’s no surprise that the influence of other factors (gender, ethnicity, social background) is reduced and so the diversity of our hires increases.

Data science

If we have the right data, analysed in the right way, we can make the right decisions. So often, this question of ‘what is the right data?’ is where organisations get stuck. Trusting in human intuition for interviewing has always undone the outcomes and consistently is outdone by any objective, standardised methodology. Not least, because this forces you to know what you’re looking for in the first place and also how you will measure it.


Technology should be there to serve us, make things easier and not to get in our way. Well-designed efficient systems and process automation makes hiring, development and transformation frictionless and easy for all parties. The right high-technology means you can invest resource in the high-touch elements of every experience, the importance of which cannot be overestimated.

Whilst ease of use and efficiency are critical, technology really comes into its own when it is used to create compelling consistent, objective and replicable experiences. We leverage innovation like virtual reality, video capture and AI to ensure each interaction is positive, impactful and delivers an accurate, reliable data stream that powers data science analyses.

Human Experience

Blending strengths expertise, data science and technology will deliver significant results. However, the wisdom of HR professionals and partners should never be overlooked.  Understanding is based on psychology, on the intuition that comes through working with people and on the fact we interpret and mediate with the world and other humans.

By blending these four pillars, rather than focusing on one or two isolation, you will be able to better hire, develop and transform talent in a way that leverages the authenticity of your organisation, matching this to the authenticity of enabling your people to perform at their best.

Dr. Alex Linley is the CEO and co-founder of Capp and its international brand Cappfinity. He previously had a career as a distinguished positive psychologist and noted academic. He has authored and edited eight books and published over 150 articles and book chapters. He was Visiting Professor in Psychology at the University of Leicester and Buckinghamshire New University and holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Warwick.  



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