By definition, potential is the capacity to develop into something great, based on unrealized ability. When you’re assessing job candidates, potential can be found in a person’s problem-solving abilities, passion, determination and overall level of conscientiousness.

Potential Trumps Experience

Giving a candidate with less experience a chance to prove themselves drives long-term loyalty. And, their shorter career history means they won’t come to you filled with inherited preconceptions and bad industry habits.

  • An added advantage: There is a greater supply of potential versus experience in today’s job market. This reduces your overall hiring costs and allows you to bring in more of the high-performing talent you need to support accelerated business growth.

How to Hire for Potential

Consider these tips as you find the perfect candidate by hiring for potential:

  • Education isn’t everything. According to a study of performance predictors conducted by Inc., education came in at only 0.09 on a scale of 0 to 1, which is well below an acceptable correlation for hiring criteria. Not to discount it, of course, but don’t be falsely swayed by a person’s Ivy League degree. It takes much more than that to complete the overall perfect candidate picture.
  • Consider the actual value of a candidate’s past experience. Don’t prioritize applicants just because they have worked for a Fortune 500 company or similar leader. Like their educational background, this is just one criterion.
  • Put a high priority on cultural fit. Even the best applicants won’t succeed unless they fit in with not only their boss, but the rest of the team as well. Deep dive until you are completely comfortable an applicant’s personality fits your company culture. Technical and hard skills can be mastered on the job, but cultural fit can neither be taught nor bought. It’s just there – and it’s essential, for you, your company and every new hire.

As you seek high-potential candidates with the right fit for your organization, consider partnering with StaffMasters. We know the Carolinas market, and we have a proven track record of matching top talent with leading employers – specializing in light industrial, administrative and clerical, contact center and professional placements. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.


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