“The quintessence or absolute embodiment of anything. A panacea; cure-all; remedy.”

There has always been a vigorous debate about what is the most valuable talent, competency or personal quality sought after by employers and recruiters. If you can identify the Talent Elixir you can focus all of your recruitment and staffing solutions or efforts on that quality.  In this way, you can be sure of a successful hire.  This article describes some of the past and recent Talent Elixirs. We invite our readers to identify and discuss in the comments section what they see as contenders for this universal remedy or panacea.

Learning Agility

The world of work is changing rapidly and employees need to continuously keep their skills updated.  A candidate’s ability to be open, flexible and adaptable has become most valuable talent.  Candidates who have high learning agility excel at understanding new, complex business problems. Business success is correlated with identifying a new opportunity, developing a plan based on the market potentials and implementing that plan in a timely and cost-effective manner. Candidates with high learning agility are much more curious than the average candidate. They embrace challenges.  They quickly overcome obstacles in order to achieve their goals.  Learning Agility is a key component of leadership potential and it can be clearly defined and measured.


Charisma is the quality of being able to attract, charm and influence those around you. It is usually easy to identify when someone is charismatic. It is, however, often much harder to say exactly what skills or qualities those people have that other, less charismatic, people lack. Charisma is a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure or leader. Their success is largely due to their charisma which creates a special magnetic charm or appeal. Other synonyms of charisma include:  allure, animal magnetism, appeal, attractiveness, captivation, charm, enchantment, fascination or glamor.  The Greek word charisma means "favor" or "gift.” You can observe or recognize when someone has it, but it is hard to clearly define or measure.


Imagination is creative ability. It is the ability to confront and deal with a problem (resourcefulness). Imagination is the ability to produce and simulate novel objects, sensations, and ideas in the mind without any immediate input of the senses. It is also described as the forming of experiences in one's mind, which can be re-creations of past experiences, such as vivid memories with imagined changes, or completely invented  scenes or possibilities. Imagination helps make knowledge applicable in solving problems and it is fundamental to integrating experience and the learning process. One example of imagination is storytelling where the exactness of the chosen words is the fundamental factor to evoke worlds. Imagination involves thinking about possibilities. Imagination can transform everything into something better. It can be clearly defined, but measuring it is much more difficult.


Leadership does not always mean senior management or being the boss. Leadership means the ability to guide, motivate or inspire others to reach a goal or complete a task. It also means enabling teamwork, listening to feedback and being aware of individual needs to maintain a cohesive and productive team. Leadership skills are important to an organization as they help to keep employees on track and deliver goals. Employees with leadership skills may also be the senior managers of the future, ensuring the further success of the organization. It can be clearly defined, and there are wide range of assessments that can measure it.


Adaptability means the ability to change. Adapting to changes in the work environment could include navigating updated processes, changes to organizational structure or innovative IT systems. Most organizations are in a state of continual change and improvement. Being adaptable means you can easily and successfully accept change. Adaptability is taking less time to change while maintaining high levels of performance. Adaptability also means that you will keep up with the pace of change, so your skills will always be relevant. Adaptability and resilience have become one of the most in-demand and valuable skills needed in the modern workplace, even outranking technology skills and emotional intelligence, according to the 2021 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report. Failure to adapt costs money, lowers performance, leads to job loss and can cause companies to fail.  It can be clearly defined, and there are a wide range of assessments that can measure it.

Next Steps

Identify and discuss what you see as contenders for the Talent Elixir in your comments below. Your ideas could become future recruitment and staffing solutions.

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