Finding Talent

Last night's Verge event at the Kessler/Fall Creek mansion (you know the one with Dolphin statues) was epic. Both Mayor Ballard and Melina Kennedy (Dem candidate) were in attendance, 200+ of Indy's best nerds mingled, local SaaS companies demonstrated their wares, Scotty's food and Upland beer was plentiful. A good time was had by all and host Chad Folkening, master domainer,  made us all feel at home in his insanely large estate. 

But what stuck with me the most was something that David Becker said about finding talent during his short but powerful speech. David is a local serial entrepreneur who has had great success across multiple ventures. He told a short story about how he spotted a hostess at a local restaurant that had great people skills. He offered her a job and she rose through his ranks to become a VP. The noisy Verge crowd was surprisingly quiet- it hit home.

David's point is to spot these rough talents and place an early bet. Sure, they might not know much about your industry but knowledge can be gained, talent is something you either have or don't have. If you can develop this person into a valuable resource then the benefits are mutual and the loyalty is deep.

I've seen this in my life as well. Many of the people I have hired came from unusual sources- I met Karl Hofstetter at one of my garage sales when he was still in high school, I met Dan Fahrner when he was playing drums in a band, I met our incredibly bright high school intern John Fernkas through my hair dresser. I have also been on the other side of this- getting hired by Dan Ripley in 1998 based on nothing more than his gut feeling that I had some talent. Within 3 years we were business partners in Indiana's first online auction house, Antique Helper.

In my experience I think you will have more success finding quality talent in your daily interactions than in a stack of resumes. Thank you David for the confirmation and reminder. Talent is all around us, we just need to look for it.