Hire for Potential over Experience – 5 Reasons Why

Organizations with open positions immediately begin searching for the best candidates with the most relevant skills and as much experience as they can afford. After all – your employees drive the success of your business. Plus, candidates with extensive expertise presumably onboard quickly with less training. But, finding candidates with the perfect experience and skillset may be difficult, even at the best of times. And with the current job market, attracting the right talent has become even more challenging. An alternative to hiring someone with loads of experience and skill set is to hire for potential over experience. Take that new budding talent with a fantastic personality and excellent soft skills but need more experience, and allow them to excel inside your organization.

Of course, not all positions in your company can afford to hire for potential over experience. However, here are some reasons it may be the better choice when possible.


Gain access to a broader talent pool

Hiring for potential allows you to search within a much bigger population of candidates and identify more talented candidates. It increases your chances of finding a great cultural match and individuals capable of taking your organization to the next level. In many cases, hiring for potential also helps you quickly build the next generation of employees and your organization’s future.


Save time and money

Finding the perfect candidate can take a long time. The longer your hiring process drags on, the more expense you incur. Plus, the overworked employees absorbing the extra responsibilities or the tasks missed due to the vacancy can also be costly. Cast your net wider and consider those who have the potential who you can train. You’ll likely fill the position sooner and spend less on compensation. Highly skilled and experienced candidates tend to demand higher salaries. Less experienced candidates, especially those eager to learn and grow, often expect to work their way up as they gain experience and skills. They often work hard to prove themselves.


Benefit from new ideas and fresh perspectives

Very experienced individuals in a specific field or skill may be less open to new methods and practices. Someone more recent to the field has no preconceived notions of how particular job roles or industries operate. As a result, these less experienced but high-potential employees take on new challenges, quickly adapt to change, think outside the box, and develop new approaches. In turn, this helps fuel your organization’s creativity and efficiencies.


Increase employee loyalty

Employees remember and appreciate the opportunities first given to them. Those you invest in to fulfill their potential are more likely to become highly engaged and stay with your company longer. So, in addition to saving time and money on the hiring side – you’re investing in your retention rate.


Find a better cultural fit

If the candidate pool with the experience and skill level you seek is shallow, adding the right cultural fit could drain it completely. Any candidate who is not the right cultural fit will do more damage than good.

If you consider an up-and-comer with high potential and excellent soft skills, you’re already assessing their motivators, beliefs, values, work ethic, and learning potential. These elements help you determine whether they will fit your organization well. A strong cultural fit is more likely to find success within your organization.


When the situation allows, take advantage of candidates with huge potential and a capacity to go above and beyond for your company. Fresh talent with passion, an eagerness to learn, and a wealth of new ideas could take your organization to unprecedented success.