What Does “Talent” Mean in the Finishing Industry?

Roughly once a year, I hire someone talented.

Talent is harder to define in the finishing industry than it is in sports, art, or music. I can’t think of any specific physical traits that would predispose someone to being good – or better than their peers – at what we do. Most of our tasks are skills-based, meaning that with proper training, anyone can complete them.

So what sets a talented person apart in the finishing industry?


This is not to be confused with speed. I prefer to hire meticulous people who take their time and check their work. In this context, quickness means the ability to process new information and start applying it right away. While no one is exempt from needing practice, some people have an easier time picking up on nuance in our processes.


There are two types of people at Kaser: the experts, who specialize in one or two tasks, and the jacks-of-all-trades, who do a little bit of everything. To be clear, one is not better than the other. We need both in equal measure. But on a new hire’s first day, before they’ve identified their niche, I’m always impressed by folks who can shift gears from learning one task to learning another, without missing a beat.


Ultimately, what sets a talented candidate apart is their pursuit of excellence. Hard work always accompanies talent. No one – no matter how gifted – will have a perfect first day. The candidates who aren’t afraid of tedious practice (not to mention feedback) always advance faster.

Finding a talented candidate is like striking gold. When I do, I’m going to cross-train them on everything I can. My goal is to help them figure out what they enjoy doing, so that I can retain them for life.



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