If you're looking for inspiration for any reason, TED is a great place to start.
With motivational and educational talks delivered by industry experts, it's easy to go into an hours-long rabbit hole watching video after video. You may find yourself power posing at 2 am, wide awake after a 5-hour binge.
What do TED speakers have to say about hiring employees?
When it comes to hiring new talent as an employer, TED has several talks — ranging from how to look at candidates during the hiring process, all the way down to understanding when and why current employees choose to leave.
The biggest trend? Looking at hiring and retention from the perspective of the employee. What is it that they inherently need? What environmental factors make them more successful? And most importantly: How can you create that successful environment in your own business?
Our list of must-see TED Talks on hiring
We've compiled a list of eight helpful TED Talks (in no particular order) to watch before you start hiring your next employee. Just two hours of your time may end up saving you from making the wrong choice. After all, a new hire can cost you an average of $19,000 — you want to make sure that's money well spent.
1. Forget the pecking order at work: Margaret Heffernan
Research shows that teams full of socially aware and collaborative people are more successful — beating out teams with one or two exceptionally talented individuals that try to carry the group. When hiring, this is a key indicator of future success for the candidate: On top of their skills and ability, will they be able to work well with everyone else? Heffernan speaks on the role of empathy in teams, and how to break down traditional structures of power in the workplace to allow for more open collaboration.
2. How to run a company with (almost) no rules: Ricardo Semler
While small business owners may not have the luxury of being able to experiment with their business methods like Semler, there are some great lessons to take away from the way he handles his employees. Namely giving employees more autonomy and input in decision-making, which calls for more investment in their jobs and coworkers. When hiring, this translates into how well candidates can come up with and share new ideas versus only being able to do the tasks they're assigned.
3. Color blind or color brave: Mellody Hobson
We all have unconscious biases that culminate over time — even if we actively try to reduce those biases in our day-to-day. When hiring, Hobson invites employers to address diversity directly by welcoming its challenges instead of fearing them. By being "color-brave" instead of "colorblind," businesses can further benefit from diversity while leaving their employees feeling engaged and understood.
Mellody Hobson on Twitter: @MellodyHobson
4. Why the best hire may not have the best resume: Regina Hartley
Beauty is only skin deep. People who are perfect on paper may not always be the best person for the job. There's a big difference between "silver spoons" and "scrappers," and one may be a better fit for the position than the other. Hartley delves into how you can read a resume more realistically, understanding how certain trends can cite personality traits and work styles that match best with your business.
5. What makes us feel good about our work: Dan Ariely
Part of hiring the best talent is understanding how that person will be motivated to be successful. Motivated, happy workers are inherently better at their jobs, less likely to quit, and have higher quality output. Ariely describes two different experiments about motivation, and how very simple but intentional behaviors by supervisors can produce largely different results.
6. The puzzle of motivation: Dan Pink
When it comes to motivating job candidates to 1) take the job and 2) excel at it, going above and beyond with monetary compensation seems like the clear answer. According to social and behavioral science, though, it can mean the exact opposite. Pink describes what kinds of work warrants intrinsic motivation, and how you can start providing that motivation to your new and existing employees.
7. The surprising workforce crisis of 2030 and how to start solving it now: Ranier Strack
When looking at projections of workforce trends in the coming decade, things honestly look a little bleak. It's clear that there will be a massive workforce shortage by 2030, slowing growth in almost every major country. Strack has a solution that can be employed at any level, from national governments down to small businesses: invest in your people to retain and retrain them for the future.
8. Confessions of a recovering micromanager: Chieh Huang
Especially as your small business starts growing, it's tough to start trusting new employees to take on tasks you were doing by yourself at first. Huang recounts the mistakes he made as he took on new employees, micromanaging them down to what kind of pen they used. After recognizing his problem, he allowed his employees more freedom — and his business grew as a result of their fresh and innovative ideas.
Chieh Huang on Twitter: @Astrochieh
Inspire and hire
Ultimately, your new hires are only as successful as you let them be. Bringing in quality talent is just half the battle. Just as the TED speakers in this list point out, motivation, innovation, and ability are a little more nuanced. As a business owner or manager, it's your responsibility to make the effort to create a good environment for your employees.
The good part? Inspiration is everywhere. You never know where the TED video rabbit hole will lead.
The information we share on our blog is intended to be informational. It does not replace the expertise of accredited business professionals.
TED Talks are produced by TED. © TED Conferences, LLC. All rights reserved.
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