Hire Based Upon Potential for Growth, Not Hard Skills

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on January 20, 2017

When hiring managers seek candidates to fill a particular position, it’s natural to focus on “hard skills” – the specific technical ability and knowledge required to carry out the demands of the job. It is, after all, difficult to do any job if you don’t know how.

To find the best candidates, however, it’s important to think more broadly. While hard skills matter, they are only one component of a truly exceptional candidate. To find better people, it’s important to focus on growth potential as well.

Why Growth Potential Matters

Why choose candidates with the potential to grow into a position?

  • They’re motivated. When you make it clear you’re hiring a candidate you expect to grow and learn, give them a strong incentive to do just that. Candidates who seize the opportunity will often exceed your expectations – and their own.
  • They’re more likely to stay. A new hire who is working to “grow into” a position is also developing a sense of ownership of that position and of the skills needed to achieve it. Ownership boosts engagement and improves the likelihood of retention.
  • They’re learning leadership skills. As your new staff member grows, they’re also learning how to evaluate processes, teach them to others and foster motivation – all essential leadership skills.

How to Hire for Growth Potential

How do you find the candidates who offer the best growth potential?  Consider these tips:

Choose candidates whose resumes show growth. A candidate who has moved up the ladder, or who has made a deliberate shift from one area of focus to another, is already used to learning “on the job” and taking their own growth seriously.

Target one or more interview questions toward growth-related topics. Questions like “What have you learned in your work with [a former employer]?” or “How do you stay on top of new trends in your field?” can help you find candidates who are already motivated to learn and expand their horizons.

Talk to your recruiter. Let your staffing partner know you’re looking to hire for growth potential. Your staffing firm can help by recommending promising candidates and offering tips on how to interview for growth potential.

At TERRA Staffing Group, we partner with each of our clients to help them find the talent they need to take their business to the next level.

Find one our branches today to learn more about our recruiting services.

Categories: Employee Development, Staffing Tips & Recruiting Trends

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