Recently, I wrote a few words about the very common mistake of hiring only on skills and neglecting the culture fit of your future employee. In this blog post, I would like to take this a little further. Of course, you still need to base your hiring decision on pre determined competencies, but there are may occasions where there are very real benefits to bypassing some proven skills and opting instead for potential. So, have you considered hiring graduates or school leavers? At people2people, we have had great success in taking the potential of graduates and transforming it into proven skills. Indeed, two of our senior managers were hired into our graduate/paraconsultant scheme. Many of our competitors refuse to hire this way, and indeed it is a risk.
The formula for a successful graduate or entry level scheme is to ensure there is a defined pathway and milestones that can be clearly identified. This plan needs to include the defining of tasks that limit initial contact with business-critical processes or customers. Without this plan, any potential is unrealised or simply cannot be identified. Similarly, if these entry level employees are not making the grade, they can be managed out with limited impact on your business – and more importantly at a lower cost. In addition to having a defined plan, the perceived risk of hiring entry-level staff can be mitigated by taking some time in the recruitment process. Vigorous competency-based interviewing is very important, which can only be made possible by truly understanding the competencies that are evident in your successful teams and top performers. Don’t be flippant about this by making assumptions. Invest some time. At people2people, we complement this with a quality psychometric assessment.
The best of these assessments test for – you guessed it – competencies. So don’t limit your search for talent only to proven ability. By taking a considered risk, you can access the best talent by transforming potential into success. You will make some mistakes along the way, but the benefits to you and your business far outweigh the costs.