Hiring for potential – Is this the solution to the skills shortage?

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For all of us who work in Recruitment in one form or another, we have all heard the stats doing the rounds. There are over 1 million job vacancies in the UK. It is a candidate driven market and candidates are King. The pandemic has flipped the job market on its head and now the perfect candidates are harder to find than ever.

So when you are desperate to recruit, but can’t find the right person for your company, what should you do? Try hiring for potential. This means accepting that a candidate might not have the perfect skill set currently to join your company, but there is just something about them. Something you can’t quite put your finger on and it is difficult to quantify.

There are stand out signs that someone has a lot of potential, but at the same time trusting your gut instinct is also a powerful indicator. You know what kind of person would succeed in your business, and three signs that are a candidate has a lot of potential are:

They know what you need, and they show that in their application

Tailoring your application to show your desire for the role indicates you have taken the time to understand the company and what they are looking for in an employee.

They admit their weaknesses, but are also able to turn those weaknesses into opportunities

Admitting weaknesses yet explaining how you can do the job regardless shows you have a lot of potential. Imagine how the candidate will do once they have received training to strengthen those weaknesses!

They know how to stand out with unconventional application methods

We’ve all seen examples of this. A good example is LinkedIn, where every now and again there will be a post that goes viral after a candidate has come up with a particularly creative way to apply for a role. Sending presentations, creating a website, recording a video all instead of a standard application help candidates to stand out highlight the amount of potential which they possess.

When looking at an individual who possesses a lot of potential but is short on actual experience, remember that a lack of experience can be an asset in disguise. Without the fog of past experience, that individual can be moulded into your next superstar much more easily than someone who may be slightly stuck in their ways from their previous work history.

Outside experience also helps to drive cultural and thought diversity in the workforce. Different ways of looking at things depending on past experience yields greater levels of perspective.

Remember, you may find your next superstar, rather than a potential fading star.

Hiring for potential is something we pride ourselves on here at Jobwise, the majority of our best performing consultants joined us with no prior recruitment experience!

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