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The interest of Mad Skills, these new skills



Virginie Graziani

Talent Management & Synergologist

17 November 2022

Reading Time: 4 minutes



The recent interest in Mad Skills comes straight from the United States and more precisely from Silicone Valley. It’s all about highlighting qualities and therefore personalities that are out of the ordinary. How to find them? In addition to the famous Hard and Soft skills, the candidates’ interests are becoming the number one asset of the Curriculum Vitae. Now highlighted and appreciated by some recruiters, these talents and sometimes strange whims can make the balance in favor of the most atypical.

Making a difference by asserting original Mad Skills


Generally, companies take few risks in their recruitment and rely on classic profiles, with good diplomas, coming from excellent schools.

Today, even if it is true that these profiles still occupy a place of choice, human resources tend to privilege the singularity of the candidates. This is particularly the case in certain start-ups and companies in the high-tech industry, which encourage candidates to reveal their particularity, even their grain of madness.

More and more companies are looking for original personalities to breathe new life into their organization. At a time when companies are asked to continually renew themselves, they are looking for people who can bring a new dynamic, far from the traditional models.

The Mad Skills correspond to atypical personal qualities in individuals who are therefore likely to make things happen. On the CV side, no more all-purpose hobbies, what becomes interesting are atypical passions, unusual talents and non-conformist skills.

But be careful not to overdo it, especially if you can’t justify and defend them. If some sectors of activity are fond of this new concept, other fields of activity remain on the reserve. Mad Skills still have a very American connotation.

While it is true that the United States tends to value experience over diplomas, this is not yet the case in France. So be careful with the mix and the presentation of your skills on your CV as well as in interviews.

How to attract these atypical profiles?


Linked to the evolution of society, recruitment is in constant evolution. Digitalization, new technologies, and more globally new working methods have challenged recruiters’ processes.

To mobilize these extraordinary talents, forget the traditional sending of CVs following an interview. Instead, make room for cooptation (a recruitment method based on the recommendation of a person from one’s network) or approaching profiles directly on social networks.

Indeed, these methods focus more on the candidate’s skills than on the CV. Recruiting on the basis of Mad Skills is special because it requires a sharp analytical mind when dealing with a candidate who does not necessarily have the right diplomas.

It is the candidate’s personality and unique background that will enrich the company. The difficulty for recruiters is finally to “evaluate” these singularities. To be sure of making the right choice, the Assessment Center offers role-playing exercises that allow the candidate to be observed in a professional environment close to the recruiting company.

This assessment provides you with a neutral and objective view of skills and potential. Indeed, this approach is not based on the candidate’s background or diploma. With this method, organizations learn to recruit differently.

Do not neglect the impact of recruiting an atypical profile in your team. The company will sometimes have to make some concessions so that the new employee can express his creativity. This often means rethinking the organization chart and reviewing the hierarchical structure to welcome the newcomer in the best conditions.

How to evaluate those Mad profiles with the Assessment?


The Assessment or the Development Center are methodologies that use professional situations. The objective is to carry out a precise diagnosis of the strengths and areas for improvement of a candidate or employee. In the context of recruitment, this step allows us to advise the company on an integration plan that is appropriate to the individual’s personality and skills. Also, having a global vision of talents is essential to prepare a new organization within a company. In the case of internal mobility, the assessment includes specific recommendations on a development plan.






Explore how an individual will perform in the future : Discover our Assessment Center based on simulation of a professional environment

To find out more about how we can help you attract, motivate and find the right talent, please contact us via the contact form or at contact@apostrof.fr.


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RH Consulting – Talent Management
Scientific evaluation of skills and potential

Expert in the evaluation and development of resources, skills and potential, Apostrof helps you make the right decisions regarding recruitment, annual interviews, professional training, organisation of operational staff, career management and professional development, succession plans and high potential..

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