The power of the high-potential hire

17th Feb 2017
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A lot of leaders and managers often wonder as to what makes a great hire. Is it the amount of past experience that the candidate brings to the table or his willingness to learn new things. There is always a mental tussle that entrepreneurs face when it comes to choosing between an applicant with great potential and one who has solid experience. However, for growing businesses, the right hire wouldn't always be someone with more experience as you will need employees that will bring both passion and possibility to your emerging company. Here's why you should opt for a high potential hire:

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Place merit on pre-employment assessment

An employee's resume is like his marketing pitch that he embellishes enough to land the job. It is almost impossible to determine a candidate's potential based on his resume as he is bound to promote whatever is required for the position. Similarly, recruiting only from top universities and eliminating candidates from a wider selection can cause you to miss out on a high potential hire. In such a scenario, a company should conduct tests before bringing the candidate on board in order to assess how capable he is for the job at hand.

High on curiosity

Candidates who are open to learning new techniques and exploring evolved ways of working make for excellent employees. As quoted by famous French philosopher Voltaire, “Judge a man by his questions, rather than his answers.” A man who asks the right questions shows his willingness to learn new things. On the other hand, employees who have considerable work experience tend to draw their own conclusions and are averse to listening to the opinions of others. New hires that have no curiosity whatsoever and who cease to be inventive and fearless spell doom for the company's growth from the very beginning.

Flexible

Nothing can bring down the morale of an entire team quite like an employee who refuses to give up his old ways. Well experienced candidates can sometimes demonstrate an unwavering loyalty to what has brought them success in the past. Due to this, they are rigid in their thought process and show no flexibility in trying new ways of doing things. New hires with little experience often possess very teachable and moldable attitudes simply because they are acutely aware of the skills they lack and try to make up for it with their eagerness to soak as much information as they possibly can.

Greater chance of sticking around

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to hire for potential over experience is longevity. Candidates with less exposure can provide longer years of service and dedication as they are less likely to view their roles as ‘stepping stones to greater opportunities’. Instead, such applicants view your job offering as an ‘entry point’ where there will get the chance to showcase their talent and be valued and recognised in the field they have chosen.

While it is risky to hire for potential, the setbacks of hiring based only on educational qualification and experience are even bigger. It is for the above mentioned reasons that opting for low potential hires can prove to be a disaster for your growing organisation.

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