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The Young Ones

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Raw Talent Academy Founder and Director Lee McQueen, reveals why finding and nurturing raw talent can give your business a boost


Recruiting raw talent is great; and it’s really important. That’s why I built my business around it. Having said that, you do need to have a balance between fresh talent and experience – a combination of both is what makes a great business.

However, with raw talent there are huge benefits: it’s about moulding and shaping people into the staff you want. You can train recruits to be passionate, enthusiastic and work in the business the way you want them to. They haven’t picked up any bad habits yet, they have no preconceptions or ideas about how to do things. They’re completely mouldable, they’re fresh. Particularly in sales, they haven’t had their fingers burnt yet, and they haven’t become burnt out. These young employees are fresh and hungry, with a desire to build a successful career; they are fantastic to take on.


This is the difficult bit: finding raw talent. That’s why we have such a robust process here at Raw Talent Academy. The hard thing about it, or the beauty of it – however you want to look at it – is that they could be anywhere. They could be unemployed, working in a bar or restaurant, or just out of university. Talent is everywhere, wherever you look. Anyone could be your next future superstar. It’s about casting the net wide to catch them.

There are sometimes certain walks of life you wouldn’t associate with finding talent, but scrape the surface and you’ll often find that there’s a lot of passion and enthusiasm there. People have preconceived ideas, but you have to get underneath those judgements. That’s why unearthing raw talent can be difficult.

You also have to look in multiple places: you can’t just look in one. We go out there, and we look in places you normally wouldn’t, and that’s how we find the best undiscovered talent.


So how to get the best out of your raw talent once you’ve found it? It’s all about keeping them motivated and setting goals and objectives – not wild ones that they can’t possibly reach but ones that are achievable. It’s also about giving them incentives to reach their targets.

It’s really important that everyone knows what they are there to do. That way, they have a purpose, and it’s a way of making everyone feel wanted and that they are part of something.

Someone working in admin should feel that they’ve still got a really important part to play – without them the business wouldn’t run smoothly. It’s about making them feel part of the bigger picture. Just because someone is raw talent – employed as an apprentice for example – they shouldn’t feel like they are a lower level worker. It’s essential to make them feel that they’re playing a really strong role.

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About the Author

Lee McQueen

Lee McQueenRaw Talent Academy Director & BBC Apprentice Winner Connect on Linkedin - all posts by Lee McQueen

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OBA-2015-blackNamed Small Business of the Year 2015

Director Lee McQueen named Young Business Person of the Year 2015