A Nose for Talent

Clearly, I have talent on the brain.

Partly this was spurred by my own search for talent for some branding and marketing activities within my own business.

But it was further spurred by Marissa Mayer, the new CEO of Yahoo.  Word on the street is that she has adopted the long-standing tradition of the co-founders of Google, namely, she personally reviews every single new hire for the company.  That’s right, the senior executive of a company with thousands of employees is involved in every single new hire decision, at every level of the company.  Not just new hires at the executive levels–every new hire, period.

What’s more, in her short tenure at Yahoo she has implemented a host of employee-friendly changes, like providing free, good quality food (akin to Google and Facebook), keeping the lights on later in Yahoo buildings, and initiating a program for hearing and implementing employee feedback on how to make things better.  The program, which Yahoo is calling PB&J (for Process, Bureaucracy, and Jams) empowers employees to have fast, real impact on making life easier and better at Yahoo.  For the full text of Mayer’s recent all-hands email about this, see:  http://goo.gl/3pqX2.

How serious are the rest of us about the quality of talent we engage into our organizations?  Is it our goal to find the best of the best, and keep them even at great cost?  Or is it enough to find someone who can just get the job done?