5 tips på hur man ska rekrytera efter potential
5 Tips
How and when to recruit for potential rather than focusing on experience?

How to recruit for potential?

In my last post on minimising the risk of a bad hire, I mentioned recognising potential instead of focusing only on experience.                                                                                                            This is an approach that can deliver real value to your organisation, but you need to know when to use it and how to conduct such recruitment.

faster recruitment process

increased talent pool

more loyal and engaged employees


lower turnover = savings

Let’s start with why you should recruit for potential.                          When will it benefit you the most ?

Long lasting job openings and searching for the ‘perfect candidate’. If you have been recruiting for the same position for months (I have heard stories of even a year!) is a waste of time, resources and money. Giving people with high potential a chance to work for a year can do a lot of good for your company.

Opportunity is the key word here – often, when you give somebody ‘’ a chance”, despite shortcomings in experience or skills, such people are able to mobilise huge resources to meet the expectations, make up for possible shortcomings and then go many steps further, working out further benefits for our company.

Organisations focused on knowledge sharing and learning. Currently one of the most Find people with the right motivation and teach them what it takes to achieve results and goals of your organisation.

You can teach skills - but you cannot teach motivation or an approach that fits your organisation.

Startups are environments that bring together passionate people and those who believe that what they are doing will benefit someone. Based on potential you can find someone who shares the same values and also believes in the success of your mission. .

Flexibility. High-potential people tend to adapt quickly to new challenges and responsibilities. They usually don’t have developed habits and routines.

Reduce turnover and savings. People recruited on the basis of cultural fit with enthusiasm and passion for  work are naturally more committed. 

This translates into a good atmosphere, better creativity, greater attachment, lower staff turnover,  lower costs and better productivity.

Now the most important thing – what can we do to discover this potential? 

This requires a plan and a process that enables you to get to know the candidate as well as possible during the recruitment process.  It’s crucial to really reveal the real motivation that drives our candidate and not settle for standard answers.

This kind of recruitment requires a slight change of attitude and giving up certain requirements, but this does not mean giving up the quality of hire. 

Every position is intended to benefit the company, so when starting recruitment for potential it is worth to answer the following questions:

Which tasks will this person absolutely have to do?

What skills are required to meet the demands of the job? (for the recruitment purpose, limit to 1-2 that are really necessary)

What depends on this position?


How long can we give the new employee to reach their full potential? Can you wait?

What does the new hire need to learn?

How to design the recruitment process when looking for potential?

Start with the job advert and think carefully about what you write – do you describe what you are looking for in a candidate or do you describe the people who work in your organisation?

Set up different stages of the recruitment process – interviews, tasks, presentations, tests. Such a varied process will create more opportunities to get to know the candidate.        But remember that a varied process does not equal a long process – compact the stages, don’t take long breaks between them, stay in touch with candidates.

Involve more people at different stages, this will help you get to know the candidate and get different opinions about him/her.

Prepare really good questions for candidates, ones that deliver answers to what really drives them in life, what motivates them to act and what they expect from your company. 

The best questions about motivation 

Look for real answers. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer – keep asking until you get one. Don’t settle for standards. The recruitment process is a stressful situation for many candidates and they sometimes fail to ”produce” an honest answer. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to tell the truth, just that they need help. 

Ask for details like when did the situation last happen,who was involved, what was the result, what did the candidate learn, etc.