Rahul had just graduated from one of the top notch colleges in HR and was excited about his new job as a recruiter. Soon he started interviewing candidates and very soon, sooner then he thought ever possible, he was instrumental in hiring many employees in the organization. His recommendations after every interview were accepted by the business manager and he felt elated.

Buoyed by this confidence, he now interviewed and recommended candidates for the business head position. This was a disaster. His observations were way off the mark. Objectively speaking, this was foreseeable – sometimes things fall magically in place – its called beginner’s luck.

It happens quite often in the bull market situation where every investor thinks they have the skill to beat the market. It happens very often in corporates with managers – every manager thinks he is an excellent judge of people particularly his team. It does not matter that his judgement goes wrong more often than right. Failure to judge better is often blamed on extraneous factors like market dynamics, customer sentiment etc.

So how do you tell the difference between – beginners luck and the signs of real talent ?

Two rules to remember:

  1. Time: If you are much better than others over a long period of time , you can be sure you have talent.
  2. Competition: The people you consider your competition are equally important to prove that you are talented.

If you are comparing your candidate assessment capability with experts in assessment and you are consistently better than them over a substantial number of times, you are indeed talented. Think of all the reality shows – the more people you are pitted against and the more consistently you emerge a winner – the higher your score and better your popularity.

Wait and watch before you draw your conclusions. Beginners luck can be devastating for your career as it translates to over-confidence, taking unwarranted risk with devastating consequences.

The reason I am specifically pointing our HR decisions like hiring, employee development and promotions – is that every manager thinks he is great at judgment and assessing people. Basing critical people decisions based on gut & feel of the manager can have damaging results.

If over a period of time he is proved correct, he is indeed talented. Otherwise – it is definitely – “Lucky – by Chance”

You may write in to – smita@ableventures.in to know more. I am an expert in behavioural assessments and have impacted close to 8000 professionals in India.