“Pivotal”: of crucial importance in the development of success.
“Talent”: a natural aptitude, gift or skill.
KZN10.com introduces Will Hardie of Pivotal Talent:
Jono says, “Hi Will, I am so chuffed to discuss subject choice and career guidance options with you, as it is close to my heart, based on my history, as well as my having children who will shortly be faced with the challenges these crucial choices can have on their future in the workplace.”
Feature image: Maritzburg College Old Boy Joel Stransky and Michaelhouse Old Boy Will Hardie, Pivotal Talent business partners.
Jono continues, “I went the traditional psychometric testing route when I was in grade 9 and then again in grades 11 and 12.
“Unfortunately the results were so off the mark that it took 14 years in the ‘workplace wilderness’ before I stumbled – purely by chance, into sports journalism, an occupation I have happily been in for close on 25 years now.
“If only I had had the opportunity to go the Pivotal Talent route.”
“So what is Pivotal Talent, did you devise it or is it a product that originates from elsewhere?
Michaelhouse Old Boy Will Hardie says, “Thanks very much for the opportunity Jono!
“Pivotal Talent is a proudly South African-based technology entity (part of the Pivotal Group of Companies) and is a powerful web-based analytics tool that accurately & scientifically helps individuals predict their core interests, skills and performance strengths relative to available and evolving career fields.
“The solution was founded and developed by Dr Juan Swartz to primarily help companies more accurately and intelligently recruit, develop and retain key staff in their organisation.
“However, as the solution evolved and matured, a further opportunity was identified to help students, sports professionals and individuals interested in a career change.
“From a Schools Focus perspective, and for the purposes of this discussion, Pivotal Talent offers SubjectChoice for Grade 9s and CareerGuide for Grade 10, 11 and 12s.”
Jono says, “Will, your Pivotal Talent business partner is Joel Stransky, one of the founding members of the Pivotal Technology Group AND the 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok flyhalf – I was sitting behind the posts when Joel snapped over that matchwinning drop-goal!
“Will, you were an accomplished loose forward in your days at Michaelhouse and then at Varsity. Joel was at Durban Varsity around the same time you were playing for Maritzburg Varsity; did you ever play in the same team or perhaps against each other?
Will says, “Jono, I wish I had played in the same team as Joel! Unfortunately, that never materialised for me. However, I did play against Joel in my Michaelhouse grade 12 year (we got hammered) when he was at Maritzburg College and we may have crossed paths on the rugby field at Varsity.”
Jono says, “So Will, what was the unique motivation for you and Joel around Pivotal Talent?”
“Jono, we believe that Pivotal Talent is a world-first augmented intelligence (AI) analytics solution that goes well beyond the traditional aptitude & psychometric evaluation process and which very accurately helps to predict an individual’s full potential.
“It’s a carefully calibrated questionnaire that can scientifically and automatically match an individual’s interests and skill-set to suitable careers (and, in turn, also subject choices).
“In short, Pivotal Talent is a cost-effective and efficient online assessment that takes no more than 60 to 90 minutes to complete; is simple and very easy to follow and generates a highly detailed, individualised report instantaneously.
“As an aside, my 2 older children, currently studying at University, both completed their Pivotal Talent SubjectChoice and CareerGuide assessments at School and are now studying degrees that are 100% aligned to respective careers – as predicted originally by Pivotal Talent!”
Jono: “That happy situation would certainly take the weight off many parents’ shoulders, including a number of moms and dads that I know.
“So what makes Pivotal Talent a fresh option, when our high school boys and girls must make subject-choice or career-choice – and thereby tertiary studies – decisions?”
Will’s response: “Jono, we believe that the Pivotal Talent value proposition, namely SubjectChoice and CareerGuide, is a unique solution to what can be a daunting undertaking.
“Apart from the obvious ‘softer’ benefits of Pivotal Talent, such as convenience (can complete the online assessment anywhere in the world and on any device), being substantially more cost-effective and its instant reporting capability, the compelling differentiators we advocate are as follows:
“Unique algorithms for matching – Pivotal Talent uses complex and proprietary algorithms which scientifically match individuals based on the skills, characteristics, capabilities and faculties that predict performance to the unique tasks, performance criteria and success factors required in different careers.
“Scientific approach – Pivotal Talent is based on objective, validated research from top global institutions compiled from research into multiple fields over the last 60 years, and we use this information in our model to more accurately match individuals with the right career options.
“Automated – Pivotal Talent is an automated solution. Results are available immediately after completing an online questionnaire, and focus is provided to help individuals develop a plan of action that moves them towards a particular career path and ultimate employability.
“Multifaceted – The suitability of a career path is based on, 1) how the scholar measures against the key performance criteria in that career path, 2) the scholar’s interest in the tasks performed in the career path, and 3) the desirability of that career path, including elements such as opportunities.
Jono says, “Will, I found the 4 differentiators mentioned above particularly interesting… it makes a lot of sense. So with respect to the genesis of the Pivotal Talent model – did you and your team research and then align with international ‘best practice’ variants in establishing the necessary validity and reliability of the Pivotal Talent blueprint?”
Will: “First and foremost, our solution is theoretically valid, as it only draws on corroborated research from the top institutions globally. We ensure reliability and validity by only incorporating constructs that are supported through extensive quantitative research.
“Our solution is corroborated by integrating constructs that have been found to be predictors of performance across different fields of study.
“These theoretical models are then validated by statistical analysis, whereby the model utility -and thus the predictive power of the model within the client’s environment – is tested to ensure precision and accuracy.
“Where construct validity is a theoretical concern, our model is based on constructs that have been theoretically postulated to have a causal link to performance.
“Accuracy and precision are our main proof points, as our solution is not a standardised assessment, but rather an analytical model that accurately and precisely predicts performance in a career.”
Jono: “Will, once again you have hit on a point that resonates with me, Accuracy and Precision, something sorely lacking in my case when it came to subject- and career-choice decisions during my schooldays.
“Will, is there anything else you would like to add?”
“The Pivotal Talent SubjectChoice and CareerGuide have been available to the South African market for 2 years now and have already seen a lot of interest and adoption across several provinces and multiple Schools. The feedback from Schools, scholars and parents has been incredibly positive on all fronts.”
Jono wraps it up: “Thanks for the chat, Will; I have personally found this to be one of the most interesting and rewarding interviews in my going-on 25 years in the media workspace. I have no doubt that Pivotal Talent will greatly assist Scholars to accurately predict subject choices and career choices – the 2 areas of uncertainty that plague our children and parents daily – and yet are both so crucial in plotting the way forward.”
Will’s response: “Thank you for the opportunity to share the exciting Pivotal Talent SubjectChoice and CareerGuide story with you Jono. KZN10.com has a fantastic following thanks to your efforts, and Joel and I are hugely excited at the prospect of working with and adding value to your wonderful cause. All the best!”