HIRING FOR POTENTIAL VERSUS EXPERIENCE
The interviewing process can be perilous, which is why all too many employers rely heavily on the past experience of candidates for their ultimate guidance. And while past success is definitely a plus, it’s certainly no cast iron guarantee of future performance. There are better ways to determine whether a candidate is going to be a good long term fit for your business. Remember: it’s where people are going that’s most important, not necessarily where they’ve been.
As the employer in waiting, it’s your role to see beyond the glossy resume to seek out candidates that have the right skills, characteristics and abilities to thrive within your team and organisation. There might be a dazzling success heading up the candidates CV, but does that guarantee they’re going to be able to replicate that success in your business?
Don’t be shy of delving deeper for candidates that may not have that stand out accomplishment to their name, but do carry with them a boatload of demonstrated and sometimes hidden capability. A steady performer who’s shown tenacity and the ability to adapt and learn could well go on to help you accomplish a lot more.
Someone with a standout ‘resume accomplishment’ can be impressive, but always dig deeper to find out exactly what role they played in this accomplishment, and what other skills they have to offer. If their accomplishment plays nicely into the role you’re hiring for, it’s worth finding out as much detail as you can, but this one success shouldn’t blind you to the perhaps more sustainable positives of other candidates.
Heard of kaizen? It’s a key part of Japanese business culture and describes the practice of continuous improvement. Employees strive to make professional improvements every day, taking responsibility to continually enhance their own performance as well as the company’s.
For employers in Japan, a key part of the assessment process lies in evaluating where candidates are going – their goals and future career trajectory, how fast they’re accomplishing it, as well as where they are at present.
Growth is expected, and employees who have a history of expanding their skills sets and improving in their roles are far more appealing to employers – even when these candidates might not necessarily tick all of the ‘experience’ boxes for the role.
Do They Have Skills You Just Can’t Teach?
Remember that practical processes and technical skills can all be learned. What’s much harder to teach to new employees are innate characteristics, like curiosity, resilience and empathy. Delve deeper into the character of your candidates and see what innate qualities they possess that can’t be taught on a training course.
Look for the Right Kind of Experience
Someone who’s done the same job for 25 years might offer you a wealth of experience – or they could just have one year’s worth of experience, multiplied by 25. Could too much in the way of similar experience have left this candidate a little one dimensional?
Sometimes it pays to give a chance to a fresh perspective, or someone who has a far more broad resume. Someone with many different types of experience on their CV, even when it doesn’t all tally directly with the role you’re hiring for, can still be a great fit. This kind of progressive experience shows adaptability, determination and sometimes pure passion – all valuable assets.
The kind of experience your candidate needs depends entirely on the role and the support this person will have access to. If they need to be an expert pair of hands then the depth of experience can be non negotiable – but if you’re looking for a fresh voice, perspective, ideas or innovation, don’t rely too heavily on a person’s past experience as your guide.
Matt is a Director of The Talent Hive and leads the Engineering recruitment practice within the business. Originally from the UK he’s been living in New Zealand for 13 years. Matt is a retired ‘amateur’ athlete who has given up chasing great marathon times for chasing his young children around the park, a far more worthy (if not exhausting) pursuit.
At The Talent Hive we specialise in connecting IT & Engineering professionals with the right career opportunities. We encourage collaboration, socialising your success and sharing industry insight and expertise. Start the journey, connect with The Talent Hive today
Categorised as: Talent Search & Management, Uncategorized