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

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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draw on their diverse experiences to make a persuasive case for why companies large and small should rethink outdated, ineffective hiring practices and embrace an approach similar to that used by the special operations forces.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


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

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. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011


A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

A thoughtful program for eradicating poverty from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evicted.

“America’s poverty is not for lack of resources,” writes Desmond. “We lack something else.” That something else is compassion, in part, but it’s also the lack of a social system that insists that everyone pull their weight—and that includes the corporations and wealthy individuals who, the IRS estimates, get away without paying upward of $1 trillion per year. Desmond, who grew up in modest circumstances and suffered poverty in young adulthood, points to the deleterious effects of being poor—among countless others, the precarity of health care and housing (with no meaningful controls on rent), lack of transportation, the constant threat of losing one’s job due to illness, and the need to care for dependent children. It does not help, Desmond adds, that so few working people are represented by unions or that Black Americans, even those who have followed the “three rules” (graduate from high school, get a full-time job, wait until marriage to have children), are far likelier to be poor than their White compatriots. Furthermore, so many full-time jobs are being recast as contracted, fire-at-will gigs, “not a break from the norm as much as an extension of it, a continuation of corporations finding new ways to limit their obligations to workers.” By Desmond’s reckoning, besides amending these conditions, it would not take a miracle to eliminate poverty: about $177 billion, which would help end hunger and homelessness and “make immense headway in driving down the many agonizing correlates of poverty, like violence, sickness, and despair.” These are matters requiring systemic reform, which will in turn require Americans to elect officials who will enact that reform. And all of us, the author urges, must become “poverty abolitionists…refusing to live as unwitting enemies of the poor.” Fortune 500 CEOs won’t like Desmond’s message for rewriting the social contract—which is precisely the point.

A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593239919

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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