The Talent Edge: A Behavioral Approach to Hiring, Developing, and Keeping Top Performers


212 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-471-64643-1
DDC 658.3'112




Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



Employees determine the nature of an organization. Every new employee
contributes to what the business will become. The challenge is to hire
the right people, those who are the best fit with the organization’s
human resources goals. Recognizing this, employers sweat the hiring
process, constantly refining their short listing, interviewing, and
selection methods. Yet few adopt behavioral interviewing, a strategy
Cohen claims will tremendously improve the success rate of the hiring

Behavioral selection starts with developing a set of competencies that
benchmark top performance within the organization’s culture.
Interviewing of job applicants is then based on these competencies, a
strategy growing out of the assumption that behavior exhibited in the
past will be exhibited in similar situations in the future. The
applicant is asked not “what would you do” but rather “what did
you do.”

Cohen selects six Canadian companies to profile the methodology. These
same six are revisited at each step in the behavioral selection
implementation plan, illustrating variations, and adaptations in
bringing the theories to life in a real-world setting.

The pacing and style is about the norm for a popular business how-to;
while it lacks the catchy slogans and witticisms mandatory in today’s
business best sellers, it is a solid, practical work that could start a
quiet HR revolution.


“The Talent Edge: A Behavioral Approach to Hiring, Developing, and Keeping Top Performers,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 18, 2024,