I have been having a discussion over on linkedin about how one goes about hiring people for talent, so I am reposting my answer as a blog entry.
I can only talk about the IT industry so here is my 2c worth. The really cool companies in IT are looking for capable hands on generalists with team leading abilities in a particular field and a yen for creativity. What the previous mouthful asks of the prospective employee is: “are you knowledgeable,capable and mature enough to tackle just about anything novel I can throw at you without throwing a fit?” Don’t forget to mention that your budget for support is limited therefore your prospect should be a tool maker too.
If they flinch on the idea on operating on unknown landscapes on a large scope with limited resources while maintaining rank morale, then chances are that they are not talented.
Caveats: Beware of divas.