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Hard Work Always Beats Talent…


Thinking back to watching a recent World Cup game; seeing the reigning world champions Spain well beaten by Chile; I can’t help remembering the training session I delivered to a team of potential world champion recruiters this week in Cardiff.

During one of our discussions we reflected on the Kevin Durant quote:

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”

For those of us that watched the battle on our screens, the match was a great example of how hard work will always triumph over talent when talented performers don’t perform. There is no doubting the talent of Iniesta, Jodi Alba, Silva and co, but equally the result was never in any doubt. The desire of the Chile players to win was far superior to Spain’s. One might even say it overpowered their talent by denying them the ability to play.

During my 30 years in recruitment I used to see this week in, week out. Many times ambitious, tenacious and hard working rookie consultants would beat their more experienced competitor consultants to fill jobs.


The great Thomas Eddison himself summarised it neatly:

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

To those who have achieved greatness success is down in the main to hard work.

Sadly some successful consultants become drunk on their own achievements, they become sloppy and lose their hunger and desire.

Recruiters need to learn and never forget this lesson. Our industry is full of determined and hungry rookies ready to steal your crown. New ones are joining the industry daily. Talented old hands like Iniesta, Busquets, Alonso and Casillas cannot afford an off day. As we all know there are no prizes for coming second in recruitment but so often many old hands fall into this trap.

Being a world champion recruiter, which our programme is designed to deliver, requires a “winning-mindset” as well as talent. In the words of Dr Steven Peters, famed for his work with Team GB Cycling and Liverpool FC, it’s about managing “Your inner chimp.” Just ask Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendelton or Sir Bradley Wiggins.

I have been very fortunate in my career to work with some of the most talented people in our industry, many who have earned over £250,000 a year several years running. Some have even gone on to work in other sectors for global companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Avaya.

Creating a winning mindset was the key to their success.

So as you recruiters enjoy the spectacle of this summer’s World Cup, learn the lesson of Spain. Remember and never forget Kevin Durants saying:

“Hard work beats talent when Talent doesn’t work hard”

As the day you do is the day you cease being a world champion recruiter because that rookie in the corner will steal your crown.



Ian has had an impressive career to date spanning nearly 30 years in recruitment, talent acquisition, sales and training sectors.

Having worked as Sales Director for Hays Specialist Recruitment for 11 years, Ian understands the complexities of corporate resourcing and constructing high return client relationships. He has led the sale of Managed Services contracts with values of up to £20M per annum and delivered numerous long term high value partnerships.

As a strategic partner to many blue chip organisations, Ian has worked at board level to assist strategic decision-making in skills availability within regions, sectors and countries. The organisations Ian has helped with his innovative, solutions focused approach include Barclays Bank, Clerical Medical, NHS Connecting for Health, DWP, MoneySupermarket, AXA Direct and Leicestershire County Council.

As well as being a founder partner of Recruitment Training Group, Ian also runs the complimentary Selling Success business, offering consulting, coaching, training and education in business development and relationship selling. Ian’s enthusiasm for coaching doesn’t end there, as a qualified FA coach he enjoys motivating people to be the best in their sporting endeavours, as well as in business.

Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and management psychology, Ian is able to teach sales relationship skills that it takes others years to learn. Ian is a highly proficient user of social media as a sales tool, having generated over 50% of his business income via social media. And gives others the framework to use channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter to drive their own success.


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