“Investment” Hiring: The Value of Hiring for Potential

InvestmentHiring.BLOGEmployees are one of the most important factors contributing to a company’s success. Employers need to develop a workforce that contributes to higher business performance and equates to greater profit. Investment hiring (hiring for potential) is one way to edge out competition. 

Investment hiring means looking beyond the long-held belief that experience is singularly important in hiring. It’s no longer about hiring the most qualified candidate based only on past experience, but more about hiring someone with the potential to succeed and perform both now and in the future. Focus on selecting people with the right behaviors, aspirations, and motivation who can be trained on the job. 

A candidate with potential has the right kind of motivation to get the job done, take on greater responsibility, and continuously learn and make a difference. This opens up the applicant pool to candidates who may not have the complete track record that you are looking for but have the necessary capacity, motivation, and transferable skills to achieve a high level of performance over time. 

How do you identify potential? Identify critical job-related competencies (knowledge, skills, and abilities) such as business acumen, technical skill, decision-making, and ability to deal with ambiguity. If a candidate possesses these, then focus on culture-related behaviors that would indicate organizational fit. These could include collaboration, communication, and team- and customer-service orientation. 

Behavioral questions enable the interviewer to gain better insight into the candidate’s specific knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience that indicate potential. The following behavioral questions could be used to assess the ability to multi-task:

  • Describe a time when you had to prioritize multiple projects.
  • What were the projects, and how did you go about prioritizing them?
  • What was the end result?
  • If you had to do it all over again knowing what you know now, would you do anything different?

Think about your company’s current and future talent needs and decide if “investment” hiring, or hiring for potential, is the right move for you. Consider how to approach the hiring process from the point of view of hiring for potential as much as for current needs. You can use behavioral interviewing to support you in your hiring efforts. Click here to read our FYI on Behavioral Interviewing.  

According to Robin Sharma, a well-known leadership author, “Your job is to see the greatness in people who have yet to own the greatness within themselves.”  Investment hiring is a way to hire for your organization’s present and future talent needs.