Hiring for Potential

Increasingly, companies find that (IT) Audit, (IT) Risk and Finance professionals with the needed knowledge or experience are difficult to find in the tight labor market.  At The Talent Inn, we help you find the right professionals for your team but we cannot intervene on the supply side of the labor market by creating professionals (which is a good thing, we believe 😊). We do have our thoughts about how to overcome this growing (skills) shortage. In this blog, we talk about ‘Hiring for Potential’ and how this recruitment strategy could be a solution not only for scarcity, but also drives cultural and thought diversity on the work floor.

What is it?

Hiring for Potential relies heavily on a persons’ abilities and raw talent and not on background or experience. This may sound scary as traditionally, we make hiring decisions almost exclusively based on experience and skills. So, let’s dive a little deeper into hiring for potential instead of experience.

Fill your position faster, within the budget

Scarcity on the labor market has a negative impact on both time-to-hire and your hiring budget; it may take months to find the right professional for your team and scarce professionals have higher salary expectations. This is hardly a surprise when you look at it from a pure economic perspective, but nevertheless undesirable! Welcoming a professional to the team who may not have the right skills nor experience level, but shows good potential (and we come back on this later), could be the solution.  She may not be up and running from day one and need some support but her eagerness to learn will get her up to speed before you know it!

Experience ≠ performance

Experience is truly overrated in recruiting. It is frequently assumed that if a candidate has the desired years of experience and was able to accomplish certain projects or tasks at another company, he can easily do it for your company. Think twice and keep the good old investment proposal disclaimer in the back of your mind: results from the past are no guarantee for future results. It is the same with experience and performance. Sometimes, an abundance in experience comes with inflexibility towards change. It is easy to become stagnant, doing the same job or working in the same industry for a long period of time, happily in your comfort zone. These are likely to be years without any truly significant change, results, or personal growth.

Asset in disguise

Being less experienced in a certain field can be an asset in disguise. Welcoming professionals to the team with different profiles will add to cultural and thought diversity. It could also lead to more unconventional insights and innovation when less experienced professionals question established practices and approaches. So, you might want to reconsider asking your HR or recruitment partner to look for people that have experience in your industry. Professionals who worked as an audit professional in another industry may bring fresh views and modern way of thinking about for example audit methodology.

You cannot train character

Around 50% of all hires leave a company prematurely and studies show that in the majority of cases, this is caused by a mismatch between the DNA of the professional and the DNA of your company. Instead of focusing solely on experience and hard skills, you should also focus on this DNA match. Hard skills can be trained (up to a certain extent of course, we understand that a CPA qualification is not obtained overnight), but when you welcome a new professional to your team who ticks all the boxes, but is not a good fit from a cultural perspective, you are facing a bigger problem. Our culture scan helps you to find the professional who matches your DNA.

Focus on Future Skills

The world of work is evolving quickly and becomes increasingly complex driven by automation and new technologies. It is a VUCA world your company is operating in (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) and this requires a different skills set from your employees. In our previous blog we discussed the most in-demand future skills that professionals need to future proof their career. A focus on a professional’s future skills should not only be part of your recruitment strategy. It should also be the focus of your HR and talent development programs.

Final Thoughts

Too often, companies make hiring decisions based on matching hard skills and experience instead of focusing on a persons’ abilities and talent. And we truly believe this is not the way to go. Companies should focus more on people’s learning, collaboration and leadership skills instead of their ability to use SAP or Excel. Not only now, in times of scarcity, but certainly towards the future. Cheers, Claudia, Ilona and Selvi The Talent Inn is your partner for Audit, Risk & Finance.


Hiring for Potential