Experience acts as a kind of shortcut. An employee comes in with a level of competence, which they can then apply on your behalf. To some extent, they are ready to work from Day One.
That’s certainly appealing, but experience can also fall short.
A person with all the outward qualifications can still become a disappointing employee. A lack of motivation or the absence of higher-level inherent talent can limit a worker’s upside. In some cases, it’s better to hire a candidate with potential, letting motivation make up for the absence of experience.
Some Traits Can’t Be Taught
In sports, it’s often known as a person’s “motor.” Is the player constantly moving, looking for places to contribute? Do they care about achieving the top level of performance? Are they dynamic and self-motivated?
For a person with a high motor, the answer to each of these questions will be a hard “yes.”
The same dynamic comes into play in the workplace. Think of it this way: many skills are just a matter of education. Sure, some people might pick up tasks faster than others. But with enough work and training, any employee can reach a basic level of competence.
Other traits are different. They come more from innate talent than from education and practice. Skills like leadership and motivation largely come from within. For these skills, you are better off finding workers who already embody them, rather than trying to instill them after hiring.
In effect, you can give any individual the experience they need to thrive at your company. As long as you’re willing to invest in training and take a longer-term approach, you can bring them up to speed. But you can’t instill motivation and other similar traits. Those come from the candidates themselves.
How to Spot Potential
Knowing that you want to find someone with a strong motor is a relatively simple matter. Given the choice, you’d obviously rather have the self-starting candidate than the one who needs constant nudging. However, internal drive is often hard to spot during a typical recruiting process.
That said, there are signs you can identify during the hiring process. Here are a few steps you can take:
Look for Signs of an Overachiever
Don’t just target fundamental qualifications. Look for resume line-items that point to extra effort. Target candidates who show they can go above and beyond the basic tasks of a position.
Also, focus on applicants who show progress within organizations, scoring promotions during their tenure at previous companies. This shows a high level of motivation and ambition.
Craft Targeted Interview Questions
Use the interview as an opportunity to learn about your candidates’ motivation. Create questions that specifically target that area. Try asking things like, “How do you stay motivated?” and “Have you ever conceived of a project on your own that you eventually successfully finished?”
Promote from Within
For higher-level positions, don’t gamble that an outside candidates will have the motivation you’re looking for. Instead, go with a safe bet. Identify current staff members who have consistently shown they have the internal motor you need. Then, groom them for the next tier of responsibility.
During the hiring process, make culture an explicit selling point. Let candidates know that you value motivation and other inherent abilities. The applicants that respond to this line of discussion will likely fit the mold you are looking for.
Contact the leading recruiters at PrideStaff today for more information.