Why is hiring for potential a good idea ?

by Ashvini on May 12, 2014

in Business,Management

Look at this pattern:

a) advertise position

b) get resumes

c) scan resume for experience

d) interview candidate

e) hire the candidate.

This is how most of the industries hire people.

I believe that is very inefficient way of hiring people. There are a lot of good people that get filtered off in this process. Imagine a person who is very good at certain technology but does not have the adequate experience. He or she will probably be filtered out . Companies rarely check if the person has the potential to take up the job.

Most of the times,companies hire people only when they need to make a replacement for a vacancy. Often there is no time gap between hiring a person and the time that he or she  needs to be productive. Thus there is no chance for a potential  candidate to complete the job requirements.

The problems with this hiring process are

  1. It does not look for people internally who could be promoted to take the higher role
  2. Job description filters out candidates with potential
  3. Hiring becomes expensive because of requirement of experience.
  4. Time and effort needed for hiring people
  5. In-spite of best efforts the candidate selected may not have the drive to complete the job

Start-ups do not face the problem that much. They are able to hire a high potential candidate because

a) They don’t have the resources to pay above market rate and thus are ready to compromise on experience

b) They don’t want a person who gets too comfortable in the job

c) Candidates with potential are more driven and they achieve goals much faster ( which is necessary requirement for start-up ).

e) Potential employees can be paid lesser for greater roles / share of profits in future.

My personal experience of hiring a person with potential and nil experience

I wanted someone to write for my other blog. I contacted a few writers and asked for the samples. What I got were neither well written nor well researched. I knew  a young college student on Facebook. I knew he was smart and that he had passion to learn. Even though he never wrote an article in his life, I asked him to write one for me. The first draft was okay. But with guidance, he was able to research the article well and write it well.

With a little mentorship, I was able to convert a potential into doing the work that I needed. If I had gone for the standard hiring or process ( hiring online), I might have used up  a lot of time and still be unsure of the quality of work.

Planning for the job and looking for potential is must to achieve the goals

Companies don’t often plan for kind of people they want , instead they go for one who matches the job description. There in lies the lack of planning. But even large corporations commit the same mistake .

Identifying the potential

GE’s most successful chairman Jack Welch carried business card in his pocket. Wherever he found people with potential exceeding their job roles , he handed his card to them.

One needs to watch out for the talent and sometimes talent may not be even in the industry you are in. With proper mentorship, potential candidate can be trained/mentored for the job demand and even more.

Look for hiring people with potential wherever possible.

Image courtesy of Leader Man/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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