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The Benefits Of Hiring For Potential Rather Than Just Experience
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Five Benefits of Valuing Potential Over Experience in Recruitment 

  • Publish Date: Posted 18 days ago

Five Benefits of Valuing Potential Over Experience in Recruitment 

Selecting the right candidate is a crucial decision for any company. A strong workforce forms the groundwork for success, and making the right hiring choices is essential for establishing this foundation. 

In the past, hiring focused on finding candidates with experience or qualifications in a specific field. However, this approach has limitations, leading more and more companies to recognise the advantages of hiring based on potential.

What exactly is the difference between hiring for experience vs. hiring for potential?

The difference between hiring for experience and hiring for potential is quite simple.

Hiring for experience

While recruiting based on experience, the decision hinges on whether the applicant possesses:

  • Several years of experience: The candidate is already experienced in the specific function or industry.

  • Similar seniority: They previously held a position of similar seniority to the one being hired for.

  • Relevant skill set: They have previously completed the required tasks or used the same tech.

  • Similar responsibilities: They have had the required responsibilities in their previous role/s such as line management.

Hiring for potential

On the other hand, hiring for potential focuses on candidates from diverse career backgrounds who have:

  • Fundamental technical skills: The basic technical skills needed for the role.

  • Essential soft skills: Important soft skills like communication that enable them to grow into their responsibilities.

  • Alignment with company vision: A shared vision of where the company is heading and how the role fits into that vision.

  • Desire to advance skills: A strong desire to develop and improve their skills.

Choosing potential means looking at people who can grow with the company, rather than just focusing on their current skills.

Essentially, the choice between hiring for experience and hiring for potential is about deciding between filling the immediate role and investing in the future progression of your business. It involves weighing short-term priorities against the long-term vision and determining which approach best aligns with your strategic objectives.

In this blog, we discuss the advantages of hiring based on potential instead of just looking at qualifications and experience.

The benefits of hiring for potential

1.       Expand your talent pool by hiring for potential

When hiring for experience, companies often limit themselves to candidates who have already excelled in similar roles. This method can be helpful. However, it might overlook candidates who have the necessary skills and attitude to succeed, even if they lack direct experience. Focusing on potential involves candidates who have the capacity to develop and grow within the company. This approach is particularly valuable for entry-level positions, where a candidate's potential to learn and grow can be more crucial than their prior experience.

2.       Maximise innovation and growth 

Candidates chosen for their potential are often more open to new ideas and willing to challenge the status quo. With their fresh perspectives, they are more likely to develop innovative solutions to longstanding problems. This can help drive increased innovation and growth, essential for companies aiming to stay ahead of the competition.

3.       Achieve long-term success and reduce turnover

Hiring for potential can also result in better long-term fit. When candidates are selected based on their potential, they are more likely to be invested in the company's success and more likely to stay with the company long-term. This can help reduce turnover, which can be expensive and disruptive, and can also reduce the associated costs of recruitment and training.

4.       Leverage potential for short-term savings

In addition to long-term benefits, hiring for potential can also be more cost-effective in the short term. Entry-level or less experienced employees with potential are typically less expensive than experienced hires. They often require less training because they're more adaptable and eager to learn, which can help reduce recruitment and training costs and increase overall efficiency.

5.       Improve company culture through potential-base hiring

In addition to long-term benefits, hiring for potential can also be more cost-effective in the short term. Entry-level or less experienced employees with potential are typically less expensive than experienced hires. They often require less training because they're more adaptable and eager to learn, which can help reduce recruitment and training costs and increase overall efficiency.

Is hiring for potential right for your business instead of hiring for experience?

The answer depends on several factors.

A global shortage of skills, especially in fields that require advanced digital skills, exists. This makes it difficult to hire experienced professionals as they are in high demand. When hiring, considering potential allows you to look at candidates who can be trained to reach a high standard. This also helps to expand the talent pool.

Financial constraints can also play a role in this decision. If budget limitations prevent you from offering competitive salaries, hiring for potential becomes a viable alternative.

In reality, the choice between experience and potential is often not clear-cut. Ultimately, the decision between experience and potential depends on factors such as the role's requirements, your strategic objectives, and the nature of your organisation. But embracing potential can lead to transformative outcomes for your organisation.

Struggling to find the right talent for your organisation? Whether it's permanent positions or contract roles, we've got you covered! 

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can work together to align your hiring strategies with a potential-driven approach that suits your business goals.