Skills or Potential - What's the Best Fit for Your Company?

Posted December 13, 2016

While an impressive resume is often enough to land the job someone is seeking, employers should be wary of ignoring candidates' potential when making hiring decisions.

Think about it: The resume of Steve Jobs right after he dropped out of college probably wasn't too impressive. However, he went on to build a name for himself. Although his early resume didn't state it, Jobs had incredible potential, or the capacity to become something great by using unrealized ability.

Widely acknowledged by psychologists and researchers, potential can be glimpsed in one's problem solving skills and attention to detail. Truth be told, most personality traits are a part of someone's potential for success.

As the business world grows more unstable and intricate, and the labor market for top talent gets tighter, companies and their leaders must evaluate job candidates more on potential than current competencies.

Giving someone with less practical experience the opportunity to confirm their value will also drive worker loyalty, as people who excel when given the chance to succeed will usually reciprocate with a high degree of commitment. Furthermore, a relatively short career history means less of a chance for bad habits to take hold. Finally, there is a higher amount of employees with potential than there are workers with a full background of experience. This drives down labor costs for less experienced workers, allowing companies to access more talent that can support rapid growth.

While it's simpler to assess past performance, it's also possible to assess potential. In the interview, hiring managers should look for signs of the right kind of motivation: A desire to pursue big, unselfish goals. Individuals with this kind of drive tend to show great humility and are constantly working on improving at everything they do.

Examine the real value of experiences

Past experience is a poor predictor of future performance. Avoid elevating applicants simply because they were employed by a "big name" company. Dig deep during the interview to find out what they actually did at the company: The amount of responsibility that was on their shoulders, what solutions they developed, if those solutions were implemented and what results they achieved.

Determine cultural fit

Talented people rarely succeed all on their own, as they often reach their potential by collaborating successfully with those around them. Furthermore, you don't want to hire a highly talented individual who regularly clashes with those around them.

In the interview, hiring managers should ask candidates which company values they identify most with. This can not only help to establish cultural fits, it can also reveal if a candidates has done their proper research.

A hiring manager should also ask each candidate how they keep abreast of all the latest industry news. The answer to this question can reveal just how passionate each candidate is about their chosen career.

At Ambassador, we supply and connect clients with both experienced workers and those that show a high degree of potential. If your company is currently in need of a custom talent acquisition solution, please feel free to contact us today to work with a full-service staffing agency!