Can you convert staff into talent

Your team could make or lose you millions of dollars, so when it comes to hiring, it’s important to get it right.

It’s sometimes easy to pick a dud, but is it possible to turn an average employee into a talented team member?

First, we must distinguish the difference between staff and talent.


A staff member is someone who shows up at 8:30am every day on the dot, and leaves at 5.05pm.

They take an extra 15 minutes for lunch and they make sure that they get their breaks, because you know, it’s the law. They get the job done but there’s no going over and above.


A staff member gets paid to do a job, but talent gets paid to do something that they absolutely effing love.

A talent will come in, in many cases before everybody else or at least earlier than what you ask them.

Their passion for the job is contagious and they’re always looking for new and innovating ways to make the business better.

Staff vs talent

Everyone has the potential to become talent, but not everyone wants to become talent.

I think some people are just happy with their lot in life by just being fucking average. I know I’m not. I know my team isn’t. We’re just not people who are content with being fucking average.

But some people are, they just don’t aspire to more. And those people could be talent but unless they want more from their life then they won’t be.

I always give people at least four weeks to prove they can do the job at the capacity they have, but I’m not looking to assess if someone is talent after they’re working for me, I’m looking to assess if they’re a talent in the interview process.

So, if you’ve already hired someone and you’ve realised that they’re not talent you either missed something in the recruitment process or you got fucking gamed.

If that’s the situation you find yourself in, then you have to very quickly work out if you can convert them because there’s a lot of expense at retaining average staff that don’t perform.

And the way that you convert staff into talent is through good leadership and a strong culture.

Staff have to be led very strongly and they have to be in an environment that is going to support the leadership that you’re giving and the direction that you’re taking them.

So can you convert staff into talent? It’s possible, it’s just not probable depending on who it is.

I prefer to pick talent during the recruitment process because there’s a lot of work in converting someone, and I would much rather have someone who has been brought up the right way, who has the natural motives that are already in place, who has the ability to self-manage, who has the ability to self-lead, and who wants to be in an environment that brings out the best in them.

Kerwin Rae