Are companies missing out on potential geniuses by choosing candidates that are too safe?

Imagine an employee that, although very skilled, breaks all the rules, refuses to listen to your advice and insists on doing things their own way. This may sound like your idea of a nightmare, however, there is a new phrase to describe this type of individual; “disruptive talent”.

These people disrupt the norms of your workplace, they go against all rules and regulations and yet somehow still produce the same, or even better, outcomes. It is their attributes that you may see as flaws that end up being their merits when it comes to business and making business decisions.

So what are the benefits of hiring disruptive talent?

One of the biggest benefits is that those who fall into this category are generally relentless in pursuing their goals and do not like to take no for an answer; the same traits that side-lined these individuals previously in terms of career progression. But recently, businesses are starting to realise the assets of hiring this type of person, particularly for roles that involve selling and closing deals. In fact, most large-scale, successful businesses already have their fair share of disruptive talent, and these people have contributed to their development. Recruiting this type of personality to your workforce will allow you to push boundaries, achieve targets and may help the business to grow if it is stuck at a plateau. This may sound great, but how do you manage an outspoken individual who will undoubtedly ‘colour outside the lines’ of your business. It isn’t an easy task and you must accept that someone who falls into the disruptive talent category will be unpredictable in terms of their actions. They need a strong manager who can understand their creative differences and vision, and be firm yet flexible when it comes to their supervision. Disruptive talent may also struggle to fit into the wider norms, values and culture of your business, and may cause an uproar among current employees; reasons why many businesses opt out of hiring this type of employee in the first place.

Although there are obvious issues to consider about taking on disruptive talent, with the right management and company flexibility, they can help grow and strengthen your current business and could even take it to unexpected heights. Therefore being overly safe with candidates may actually lead to the demise of your business, so it is worth being as open-minded as possible to the possibilities of disruptive talent during any recruitment process.