WHAT MATTERS MORE IN NEW HIRES? EXPERIENCE VS. POTENTIAL
Scaling a business is one of the most complicated challenges for entrepreneurs. Developing a model that allows for consistent growth while maintaining profit margins and effective systems is a substantial task for business owners. But once the proper blueprint is in place, a new test presents itself, and how well you perform will undoubtedly define the future success of your company. Hiring plays a significant role along a company’s path to success. It’s not a landmark or a checkpoint on the map; it’s the vehicle that takes you to your destination. Your business is only as good as the people who propel it forward. You need individuals who fit into your culture, possess the necessary skills to be effective, and have a desire to continue learning best practices if you’re ever going to achieve your goals. Some qualities are universally known to be linked to good hiring practices, but there’s still one important question that divides the masses: Do I hire for experience or potential? EXPERIENCE A degree- or trade-specific education can certainly lay a foundation for an employee to be successful, but experience provides specialized training that cannot be found anywhere else.
An employee who has a working knowledge of their craft can provide a sense of security when hiring. With new employees playing such a pivotal role in growth, many employers want to limit uncertainty and ensure they aren’t gambling with their company’s future. But experience doesn’t equate to competency, which is why some employers elect to hire for potential. POTENTIAL The argument for hiring based on potential centers around two concepts. One is that by hiring someone with a bright future and helping them achieve their goals, you could gain the loyalty of that person and thus retain that employee for a longer time. This comes with the caveat that those who have potential also look for potential, so as an employer, it’s important to provide opportunities for advancement. The other argument is that potential combined with training can equate to a more effective employee in the long run. In truth, the disagreement that transpires is a moot point. You can hire someone with experience or an individual with potential and strike out just the same. All successful employees will have one important trait: passion. You can’t teach passion, but you can hire for it.
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