Is your hiring team laser-focused on finding the “perfect” candidates to fill your jobs? Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as perfection in hiring, and you may be overlooking a large segment of strong candidates in the process. Though a candidate who’s seemingly inexperienced may not be the most appealing option right away, they very well may have the most potential to excel within your company. As you refine your talent acquisition process, here are some tips for how to evaluate an inexperienced candidate:
Look for genuine enthusiasm and interest.
Genuine excitement about the opportunity to be part of your team is almost just as important as the quality of one’s qualifications and credentials. Candidates who express a tangible desire and demonstrated interest to join your company will likely fit well within your culture and enhance your employer brand in several ways, such as bringing a positive attitude toward new initiatives; being an ambassador for your company in the public eye, and having a deeper connection and loyalty to their job. As you interview candidates and review their applications, pay attention to applicants who show a personal interest in being part of your organization’s mission at large.
Emphasize performance over experience.
While candidates with long resumes may appear to be most qualified on the surface, often these individuals lack the practical skills and abilities to perform at the level you’re seeking in an employee. Taking an inventory of a candidate’s past performance – including evaluating their specific achievements in prior workplaces and noting their measurable accomplishments – will be a much better indicator of a candidate’s true potential than a hefty list of past jobs. This also means paying attention to the quality of a candidate’s work history, rather than how many previous positions they’ve held. A track record of relevant performance in one or two previous jobs is more meaningful than a record of several past positions in which a candidate’s performance was unrelated to the job at hand. Rather than focus only on years of experience, delve into the depth of a candidate’s job history, including their former responsibilities and the impact they’ve had in other workplaces.
Hire for long-term potential.
Often some of the best candidates are those who have the potential to grow within your company for the long haul. Though candidates with the longest resumes may seem to be most qualified at first glance, they may not be the best fit for your organization in all aspects. Rather than consider only individuals who check off all the boxes on your preferred set of qualifications, it’s far more effective to review candidates from a cultural perspective. For example, do they have the right personality for your culture? Are they willing to be trained and adapt to your company’s practices and protocols? Many employers are pleasantly surprised to discover that the most seemingly “unseasoned” candidates are the most moldable and possess the greatest potential to thrive not only in their jobs but as leaders who can evolve within the company for years to come. As long as a candidate has the core set of foundational skills and abilities to perform the job, they can be easily groomed for long-term success.
Focus on creating a more inclusive workplace.
It’s easy to forget that cultivating a more inclusive work environment essentially starts with the hiring process. Spending time and energy only on a certain type of candidate can derail efforts to create a more diverse workplace of employees of varying talents, ages, backgrounds, and education levels. Rather than focus specifically on one type of candidate profile, expand your talent pool by opening up candidacies to a broader geographic span, making cultural fit a main priority, and taking steps to eliminate hiring bias. Proactively assessing candidates on more than their resumes is crucial to fostering a workplace that’s accepting of all individuals on merits that go far beyond actual skills or degrees. This gradually creates a work environment in which all employees are empowered to grow in a way that’s beneficial to both them and their employer. Above all, putting your company’s mission at the forefront of hiring will serve as the building blocks for a more inclusive workforce.
Though hiring a more inexperienced candidate is not always ideal, keeping the tenets above in mind will help you invest in well-rounded employees who will not only enhance your company but create a loyal and dedicated workforce. Over time, sustaining these practices will result in better hiring and retention outcomes, having a positive effect on recruitment, morale, and your bottom line.
Are you in need of top talent for your growing team? Get in touch and learn how the experienced recruiters at HH Staffing can fulfill your workforce development needs.
Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO, and Chief Servant
Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings a fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high-performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.