Hiring a new employee to join your team is an exciting, and often stressful, process. Finding an individual with the right combination of skills, knowledge, and experience is only one piece of the puzzle. The individual also needs to have a personality that aligns well to the nature of the role. For example, if the role involves a fast-paced environment where the employee must adapt to rapidly changing priorities, then an individual with a slow work tempo who has a high need to finish tasks may struggle and become overwhelmed. For many organizations, it’s also important that the individual’s values align with their corporate values (such as integrity, accountability, respect for others, and valuing diversity).
Finding one candidate who checks every box is likely impossible. Where many managers go wrong in the hiring process is believing they must find the one candidate who is the perfect fit for the role. This leads to an exhausting process for recruiters and often several hours of wasted time with unsuccessful interviews.
Instead of trying to find the perfect candidate for the job, look for individuals with the core qualities necessary for success in the role. A candidate who lacks the right experience but has all the drive and learning agility to grow into the role is worth the investment of time.
Additionally, instead of trying to find the perfect candidate to fit a role, get to know the candidate’s strengths and motivations to see if you can personalize the role to fit the individual. For example, if the individual is motivated by charting their own course, identify ways in which they can take part in the strategy development process. It takes a shift in mindset from the traditional view of employee-job fit, but the impact on both performance and employee morale will be long-lasting. Flexing each role slightly to leverage each person’s strengths and tap into what drives their energy and satisfaction leads to increased engagement and reduced turnover. Hiring for potential over experience can feel like a leap of faith at times. It certainly requires more effort and planning from a training and development perspective but molding raw talent into a high performing team member is worth the effort. Making simple adjustments to the role can help you build a powerful team of high potential individuals who perform their best and learn to rely on one another to bridge gaps.