Experience is important, but potential is critical.
Hiring is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. It can be nearly impossible to tell the difference between candidates on paper, and interviews can confuse the matter further because it’s often difficult to distinguish the real candidate from their interview persona.
Because it’s so difficult to determine how someone will actually perform in the position, the fallback is often to place a heavy emphasis on previous experience and education, which can actually be incredibly misleading. Past performance may be easy to measure, but it doesn’t do much in the way of predicting future performance. Instead of looking at a candidate’s experience, try looking at a candidate’s potential.
Why you should hire for potential over experience.
People often believe that a candidate’s experience will be predictive of their job performance, but study after study has shown that’s just not the case. Did you know that, on a scale of 0 to 1 of predictive performance, education only comes in at .09. That’s far from high enough to be able to even correlate the two.
Furthermore, a review of 81 studies was conducted by Chad H. Van Iddekinge and his colleagues at Florida State University that found that there was no significant correlation between experience and performance. In fact, no matter how many years someone spent performing tasks, filling roles, or working in an industry, it still did not have any bearing on their job performance.
Another thing to consider is that, at some point or another, we were all given an opportunity to move up in our various careers because someone believed in us. Chris Rondeau, the CEO of Planet Fitness, for example, started as a front desk attendant. He, and many other C-level executives like him, didn’t get where he is because he had years of experience as a CEO. He got there because someone saw his potential.
Potential is something that’s not always easy to spot on a resume or an interview, especially if it’s not something you’ve weighed very heavily before now.
How to hire for potential.
While hiring for potential is nowhere near as straightforward as hiring for experience, it will often yield much better results. The question, though, is how. After all, potential isn’t something you can really find on a resume, so what does it really mean and how do you find it? There’s no A + B = C kind of formula when hiring for potential, but there are a few things to keep in mind that can help:
- Look for passion – When reading a candidate’s resume, don’t just pay attention to what they say about previous positions; pay attention to how they say it. You can learn a lot about a candidate’s passion and ambition in the way they describe their past experience.
- Find out what they know about you – The candidate who is most invested in the position is likely going to be the right candidate for the position, and anyone who interviews with your organization should know a thing or two about it. Don’t be afraid to test that knowledge in your interview.
- Pay attention to what they ask you – Part of your interview process should always include inviting the candidate to ask questions. In general, candidates with the most potential also tend to be the most curious about the position and the organization. The kind of questions a candidate asks (or doesn’t ask) at this point can be telling of how well they might fit in with your company’s culture as well as what kind of potential they have.
Find the right candidate for your organization with Riderflex.
There are some positions that require experience and education, but for the vast majority of positions, the hard skills that are required can be taught but attitude and potential cannot. If you’re looking to hire for potential rather than experience but aren’t sure how to get started, turn to Riderflex, Colorado’s premier head hunting firm.
Of the many things that set Riderflex apart from the other head hunters out there is our focus on culture fit throughout the recruitment process. We understand that there are many candidates out there who may have the technical skills and experience required for the position, but our goal is to help you find the one who also shares your goals and passion.
Whether you’re hiring for a CTO, COO, Head of IT, or any other position within your organization, turn to a head hunter who understands the value of potential. Contact us today to get started.