This must-read for business leaders provides a fresh perspective on transforming the hiring process.

THE TALENT WAR

HOW SPECIAL OPERATIONS AND GREAT ORGANIZATIONS WIN ON TALENT

If a company wants to win “the talent war,” it should take a cue from the military’s special operations recruiting process, according to this debut business book.

When it comes to finding—and molding—the best talent, few organizations are more effective than the United States special operations forces. Those who become Navy SEALs or Army Rangers have gone through a rigorous, battle-tested assessment process to identify high performers who “share a common set of attributes” (including drive, resiliency, and humility) that position them for success. In their laser-focused work, Sarraille, a former Marine and Navy SEAL; Randle, a one-time Army officer; and Cotton, a senior management consultant, draw on their diverse experiences to make a persuasive case for why companies large and small should rethink outdated, ineffective hiring practices and embrace an approach similar to that used by the special operations forces. When hiring managers narrowly focus on hard skills or fail to look beyond the basic facts of a candidate’s resume, they may not see talent that is hiding in plain sight, the authors argue. And when they don’t nurture talent where it already exists, they risk losing it to competing organizations. In three sections, the authors clearly outline what most businesses get wrong about hiring (and what special operations forces get right); explain how to create a “talent acquisition plan” to engage and retain the best people; and offer guidance on the nuts-and-bolts of recruiting. One innovative idea: temporarily take “A-players” away from their regular duties and put them on “the front line of the talent war.” Nonmilitary folks will learn plenty about special operation forces’ surprising approach to candidate selection, where the focus is less on brawn and more on brains and character. While the authors readily admit that no company can (or should) re-create the SEALs’ infamous “Hell Week,” they draw on their experiences as consultants to show how other tests can identify candidates most likely to drive a business forward. A mix of war stories and insider military information separates this effort from the average business book. But there’s no shortage of practical, actionable advice in these pages, whether readers are CEOs or midlevel managers tasked with filling empty positions.

This must-read for business leaders provides a fresh perspective on transforming the hiring process.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5445-1557-1

Page Count: 294

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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