Hire For Potential, Not Experience

How to find someone with the potential to grow and develop with your company, even if they haven't worked in the industry before.

Amanda Jay
December 21, 0202

The workplace is constantly changing, especially since the pandemic. Many people are now working from home, many have lost their jobs, and many are now looking to find new ones. Those looking for new job opportunities are willing to switch industries and tackle something new, so how can we open up the door for them to get in at new businesses? We can start by looking into people’s potential, not just their job experience when hiring. According to the Journal of Applied Psychology, high-potential employees bump up team performance by 15%. Potential seems like it can be challenging to navigate, but it’s actually simple! Here is what to look for on an application when trying to assess someone’s potential.

Job Longevity

If someone is sticking around at their company for over a year, they’re taking the time to learn their position, the industry, and improve their leadership skills. When looking at someone’s resume, look at how long they have stayed at each job. If it’s been a year or longer, that means they’ll stick around at your company too. When you hire someone that will be staying with you for years, it’s okay if they are missing a few experience requirements because they’ll stick with you long enough to learn the role and pick up new skills.


Look for any signs of leadership skills on their resume. Have they taken on difficult projects? Do they work well in teams? Have they ever managed another person? It’s important to have leaders on a team even if they aren’t taking on the managing role. Leaders cans handle more complex tasks and questions and think critically about those tasks. Strong leadership skills will keep up company morale and help those on their team, resulting in lower turnover for the whole company.

What Can High-Potential Employees Offer You?

Hard Work

High potential employees bring 91% more value to companies. These people are worth training because, in the end, they will work hard and do a fantastic job at any job they’re given.


Employees from different industries can bring in fresh ideas and skills. They aren’t blindly following industry best practices because they don’t know them. Innovation in the workplace can boost employee engagement, increase efficiency, and enhance customer relationships. New employees can look at problems and develop new solutions that you might not have seen before.

Increased Revenue

High potential employees can increase revenue by 6% because of all the great work they can do for you. Focusing on someone’s strengths and potential helps them become better employees, enjoy their job, and overall be more productive.

Whether you’re hiring someone with thirty years or thirty minutes of experience, what you bring to the table is what’s going to make them stay. Focus a lot on your new hires during the onboarding process and make sure they feel comfortable on the job. If they like working for you, then it’ll show in the great work they do for you. If you’re wondering what you can do to accommodate your new hires better, check out our guide on best practices for new hires.

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