Article: Why you should recruit for potential: A perspective from Thomas International

Talent Management

Why you should recruit for potential: A perspective from Thomas International

As the world navigates perpetual change, having the potential to engage in a continuous learning will play a key role in shaping the future of the business. But are your employees ready for this shift?
Why you should recruit for potential: A perspective from Thomas International


Rapid technological advancement has changed the nature of work. Digital skills are now essential, leaving a large proportion of the workforce struggling to upskill fast enough for the pace of change. According to the World Economic Forum, more than half of the world’s workers currently require reskilling, making speed of learning a crucial metric.

Sociological shifts have also contributed to a new emphasis on candidate potential over experience. Studies reveal that younger entrants to the workforce place greater importance on career development than did previous generations (Gallup, 2021). Of course, Covid-19 further disrupted the workplace, causing workers to rethink their priorities. The resultant ‘Great Resignation’ has left many organisations struggling to fill key roles.

Why is recruiting for potential important?

These developments have pushed upskilling and reskilling to the top of HR Leaders’ agendas. With the working world evolving ever faster, Hiring Managers must now recruit for potential: the potential to learn new skills and apply them to the changing demands of the workplace.

Many organisations still rely on CVs when making hiring decisions, but personality is far more predictive of job success than experience (Van Idekingge, 2018, MacRae & Furnham, 2014). Focusing on potential over past experience also helps to remedy the skills shortage by expanding the talent pool, simultaneously opening doors for more diverse talent.

Real-world impact of recruiting for potential

Global trends such as the skills shortage and the Covid-19 pandemic have dramatically impacted the labour market. More than one in three UK businesses is experiencing a shortage of workers, and of these more than half are unable to meet demand as a result (BICS, 2021).

The pandemic also accelerated digital transformation and with it the digital skills gap, with online retail sales experiencing four years of growth in just 12 months. Although a global pandemic may be a once in a generation crisis, social and technological change are set to continue apace. Companies need to be aware about the pitfalls when recruiting for candidates for their potential to succeed in today’s workplace, and the tools firms can use to reliably ascertain candidates’ potential to succeed.

Psychometric assessments provide an objective source of rich information about an individual’s potential for outperformance at work. They can help to inform hiring, succession and development decisions, and provide a means of increasing self-awareness within your organisation. Start selecting candidates with the potential to outperform today.

Here’s what you need to look for:

  • Personality: With their personality profile, you can identify candidates with the highest potential for workplace success and achievement

  • Aptitude: The General Intelligence or Aptitude Assessment (GIA) provides an objective picture of a candidate or employee’s speed of cognition and leadership potential.

  • Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Intelligence assessment measures 15 emotional traits concerning wellbeing, self-control, emotionality and sociability. These traits will help you to provide targeted support that will enhance your highfliers’ ability to deliver organisational outcomes.

  • Behaviour: Behavioural assessments provide deep insights into a person’s behavioural preferences, strengths, limitations and communication style. This helps to increase self-awareness and provides a vocabulary for discussing nuanced behavioural dynamics.

  • Engage: Employee engagement assessments establish the level of engagement within your organisation, and identifies strategies to improve employee wellbeing, motivation and productivity. This helps to identify the areas in which to focus engagement initiatives.

Read about the top six pitfalls to watch out for in recruitment.

This article is part of a content partnership with Thomas International. You can learn more about psychometric assessments and to see how Thomas can help your organisation hire better, contact an expert here: Contact us | Thomas.co

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Topics: Talent Management, Behavioural Assessments, #Hiring

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