How to Create a Company with Talent Density


Thomas invited  co-founders Erika van Zyl and Sanet Theron to present a webinar to their international audience. The response and feedback were amazing. Below we share the most important takeaways of the webinar.

What is Talent Density?

Talent density is the ability to pack your team with top performers. It is the ratio of talent in your team compared to adequate performers. The more top performers you have, the higher your talent density.

Why is it Important for Your Company?

Without talent density, you are at a massive disadvantage trying to survive and thrive in today’s economic climate. A successful company often has more high performance employees and fewer adequate performance employees.

Are you looking for practical strategies to increase the number of top performers in your team? This recap of our webinar can help. The webinar focused on the following areas (you can skip to the area most relevant to you):


 How to Create a Company with Talent Density
 1. The Connection Between Employee Engagement and the Increase in Retention and Revenue Growth
 2. Soft Skills Are a Big Game Changer
 3. Ensure Clarity and Alignment Around the Soft Skills Required for Your Role and Environment
 4. Use That Clarity to Create a Unique but Standardized Hiring Strategy
 5. Get More Rock-Star Performers and Fewer Average Performers When Hiring


1. The Connection Between Employee Engagement and the Increase in Retention and Revenue Growth

When you match a person with a job that suits them, you increase their ability to perform well. This, in turn, increases their engagement, which increases their performance! It is a snowball effect. 

When hiring, you want to find people who are well matched and highly likely to be successful and happy within the role and culture. When you increase the number of these well-matched, fully engaged employees in your company or on your team, you increase your company’s performance, growth, and profitability. These well-matched, fully engaged employees are often referred to as a-players or top performers.

You want to pack your team/company with at least 80% top performers.  

Unfortunately, market research shows us a very different picture. Most companies deliver only 20% to 30% top performers. These individuals are often responsible for the bulk of the productivity in the company.

About 50% of employees fall in the average to above average category and up to 20% are below average or poor performers on the team. We believe part of the hiring problem is the inability to identify, test, and hire for soft skills. 

2. Soft Skills Are a Big Game Changer

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills, also called life skills or human skills, are the skills that enable you to “fit in” and thrive at a workplace. They include a candidate’s personality, attitude, behaviour, flexibility, and values.  

Why Do They Matter?

Soft skills are the most important factor when it comes to hiring decisions, and they are also the reason so many hires don’t work out.

5,164 Talent professionals that were surveyed as part of LinkedIn’s annual global talent trend report agree with us. 92% think soft skills are equally or even more important when hiring than hard skills. And even more revealing is that 89% admitted when new hires don’t work out, it’s typically an issue with someone’s soft skills.

Most companies still struggle to identify and assess soft skills accurately, despite their growing value. We have found that most hiring practices still focus on experience (hard skills) extracted from CVs at the top of the funnel.

The message is loud and clear. If you want a hiring strategy for the future, you need to change how you identify, test, and hire for soft skills. 

3. Ensure Clarity and Alignment Around the Soft Skills Required for Your Role and Environment

Soft skills work at two levels. They define the skills and behaviours required for success in a role, and they reflect the broader demands of your company’s culture. When you look at the specific role, you want to focus on competencies, ideal behavioural style, and communication style that will deliver success in the role.

People who don’t fit your culture can still fail on the job, even when they are perfectly talented in all other aspects. That is why it is crucially important to translate your culture and values into a series of competencies that matter for every job. You need to be crystal clear about what and who you are looking for. 

Once you have that clarity, you want to make sure that everyone is aligned and in agreement about this blueprint of the ideal person. From the leadership team to the line manager and hiring team, everyone should be on the same page. 

4. Use That Clarity to Create a Unique but Standardized Hiring Strategy

Once you have clarity on what your top performer looks like, you need to use that clarity to create a unique but standardized hiring strategy for each role. You can tweak it to perfection so that it keeps working to enable you to hire top performers all the time. Here are a few best practices in hiring strategy that can make all the difference.

Best Practices in the Hiring Process that Lead to Greater Talent Density

• Effective Job Advertisement

Create job advertisements that will naturally attract and detract based on the soft skills and behaviours required for success. You know you are on the right track when the role description on your job advertisement sounds like an absolute dream job to the right people and like living hell to wrong people.

• Application Forms

Implement textured application forms and screening forms designed to screen for the required success factors of the role instead of just looking at the CV. Set up these screening forms to ask problem-solving questions to test for a match to your required soft skills. Ask the questions that will test for the elements you are looking for and reveal if a person is a potential match or not.

• Structure Screening Questions

Your telephonic and interview screening questions should be structured, asking the same set of questions to all candidates. You should have the scorecard next to you to match the candidate’s strengths to what is required for success in the role.

• Never Skip the References

Never hire a person without doing an in-depth reference check. Verify the information received from your interview with the candidate in your conversation with their references. A reference done with a referee who actually managed the candidate in this particular role is important.

Best practise is to pre-warn candidates right from the application process that a minimum requirement of the hiring process is for them to arrange reference calls with previous managers. We find that this works well to increase candidate honesty throughout the process.

• Psychometric Assessments Can Give You a Massive Advantage

When you have identified and benchmarked the soft skills and values that are non-negotiable for success in your role and environment, you should definitely test for those soft skills and values by using psychometric assessments. 

5. Get More Rock-Star Performers and Fewer Average Performers When Hiring

The goal throughout the process is to gather the data you need to decide if a candidate’s skills (what they can do) and will (what they want to do) match your blueprint for success in the role. 

Together, all of this data gives you the predictability of success needed to make a clear and unbiased decision about who can be successful in your role. You cannot spend enough time in making sure that you only hire the right people. The alternative is so much more damaging and costly. 

At Mint Kulca, we use step-by-step, easy-to-use processes to help our clients prevent hiring mistakes and hire top performers 90% of the time. You can enjoy the benefits of candor and efficacy in your hiring process today. Start by signing up – it’s free!

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