There are a multitude of jobs out there that do not require a high degree of skill or experience. There are other jobs that demand a ‘green’ candidate. And there are companies that while they are looking to find the right candidate to fill a skilled position, they are more focused on the applicant’s passion and potential. If your hiring decision will not be based foremost on skill and experience, but rather the motivation and possibilities that the applicant presents, how will you select your winning candidate?

Naturally when looking to fulfil an apprenticeship or trainee type role you do not expect any of your applicants to come with a strong skill set fit for performing like a star from day one. No. You expect to meet candidates that demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in that particular field. And of course passion is ideal. One who is hungry will push through even the most difficult of circumstances to accomplish their goal. Yet how do you identify perseverance in the interview process? Understanding a candidate’s achievements will provide some insight. Understanding why they are so proud of their achievements will give you an awareness of what excites them and drives them to excel. Once you have identified what incentivises them, you can ascertain if a connection exists between their past accomplishments and the type of work on offer.

You’ve probably heard this before, but a direct lack of experience can actually be an advantage to a company. Just think about it. Not only does an inexperienced recruit not bring bad habits learnt elsewhere, but their fresh perspective may result in innovative new ideas and solutions. The questioning of existing practises may come to the fore, forcing colleagues to consider unexplored directions. This no fear approach may incite others to be riskier with their thoughts and actions too and we all know that fortune favours the brave! Introducing diversity into the mix may just shake things up in a very positive way.

Competing for established talent is not easy. And it usually comes at a hefty price. If your recruiting practises are geared to identifying a diamond in the rough, you can seize your opportunity to hire an up and coming talent for less. Many start-ups are great at attracting lesser known talents. With their own market brand yet to be established, their ability to attract future stars is greater. The big movers and shakers rarely look sideways at these candidates, so these jobseekers target younger, smaller and lesser known businesses in a bid to get their foot in the door and grow. Giving a future star who has shown only potential and allowing them to prove themselves under your label will breed loyalty for the longer term. So while the big guns are looking to hire based on a competency fit, a small business is reaping the long term benefits of their ability to source potential.

Skills can be acquired, either on the job or through formal training. Identifying a candidate with great potential and providing them with an environment to grow and develop will fuel their passion for their work even further. Collating a group of people who love working for you and love what they do will result in staff who stay back when necessary, who come in early when they need to, who work hard every day because they need to. These staff set the tone of your company’s culture, creating an inspired, productive and family environment. Their passion fosters progress and because they enjoy what they do, they naturally work harder to achieve the company’s goals.

If your recruitment strategy is not able to recognise future champions that will one day become the leaders in your company, then you need to reassess your hiring strategy and interview techniques. Think about it, if a candidate is solely focused on their future, they are not a team player. If they recognise the direction your company is moving in, or perhaps their past employer’s company, a business they are far more intimate with, and understand the role they played in assisting that company to achieve their goals, they demonstrate they have the ability to develop a relationship with their employer and conceptualise a shared a vision and drive for a more successful future.

Passion and performance go hand in hand and generally result in a high performing team. Unfortunately many interviews give little weighting to potential talent and an appetite to learn and succeed. Rather enquiries are focused on experience and results already attained. Granted it can be risky to recruit someone based on their passion alone. However experience without passion is merely complacency. Where is that going to take your business?

Every new hire you recruit comes with no experience within the realm of your business. Yet they learn, they adapt and they succeed. With the right systems in place, you can afford to hire based on one’s potential, desire, excitement and enthusiasm. In fact, in the right environment you will nurture, develop and watch as they not only shine, but sparkle like a diamond. Passion is priceless.  I think it’s worth the risk.

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