People are the tools that make companies work. A great and smart bunch will contribute in moving a company forwards, generate profits and have them re-invested wherever necessary to create more opportunities, while a less skilled group might keep a company afloat without issue, but at a stagnant level. So isn’t it in everyone’s best interest to hire great quality staff to make companies thrive?
The truth of the matter is that finding great people to hire is like trying to find gold dust. And have you ever tried to find gold dust? (I sprinkled some gold glitter on the floor the other day and found it quite difficult to handle…). So, if you want to hire people who will give the company more potential, how do you go about finding them?
Traditionally, hiring managers and recruitment consultants have gone about the hiring process in a way I like to call the “old way”: they match previous experience in candidate’s portfolios to job descriptions, see who best matches what job, and put forward the candidates who fit the overall package. But this method is flawed. Let me expand.
By solely taking into consideration experience and behaviour as key criteria to position a candidate within a job, recruiters are only taking into consideration half of the ingredients necessary in a quality hire. Experience and behaviour (which form a group we call Capabilities), believe it or not, are not everything. In fact, some might go so far as to say that previous capabilities are the least reliable predictors of future performance, as they are static, and will never change. So, at the risk of shaking up the recruitment model we’ve all trusted as golden so far, what is the other half of the recipe to quality hires?
Simply put, hiring managers and recruiters have been forgetting about Potential. It encompasses the following three qualities: intellect, values, and motivations.
Now I won’t go into a discussion about defining these qualities and assessing what they are in exact terms (that is what Wikipedia is for, right?). I just think this is a good little point to mull over for a while. Potential differs with each and every candidate put forward for every job. Yet it is what will determine how well a candidate will perform in his or her employment. Capabilities may have been good at some point within past positions, but they will not determine if the candidate will be good in the future and faced with a different environment. Potential qualities act as the foundation to great quality individuals, and therefore, great quality candidates.
I’m not saying to overlook the candidate’s past experiences and behaviours when they come in for an interview. I’m simply saying that the candidate with plenty of experience may sometimes not be as good a fit for the vacancy as the candidate with less experience but more potential.
A little mathematical equation to sum up what has taken me 7 paragraphs to write:
Quality Candidate= Capability + Potential.