recruiting potential

We are in a tough hiring market in the UK and the way we recruit is being seriously shaken up. There are fewer candidates, more jobs and less relevant skills. Candidates are in the driving seat and are pitting you against your competitors.

If you are hiring in this market, it is more important than ever to invest in a realistic, more nuanced recruitment strategy, in order to secure the right employees for your organisation. It’s time to start focusing on recruiting potential.

How can you spot the diamonds in the rough? 

We have often talked about the importance of hiring for attitude, rather than skills. It’s not about finding those perfect, laser cut diamonds, designed to fit perfectly… it’s about being able to spot the diamonds in the rough. The candidates with serious potential. And now it seems as though many more hiring managers are starting to cotton on to the enormous benefits of this recruitment approach. A candidate’s skills and education  are far less reliable qualities when recruiting potential when compared to motivations, attitude and potential. 

I am reminded of  Richard Branson’s words: 

“You can learn expertise and gain experience, but attitude is inherent.” 

Richard Branson

Just because someone CAN do the job, it doesn’t mean they WANT to. 

The problem hiring managers now face, is just how do you judge someone’s attitude, motivation and potential during the hiring process?

What questions can you ask to get a real understanding of the candidate’s actual mind-set, rather than pre-rehearsed skills based responses?

Are you all ears? Good, because the solution is all about deep listening. Here is a simple way to discover your candidate’s motivations towards work. 

If you’re in an interview situation, this is a simple opener that is extremely effective to start digging into a candidate’s mind-set:

Question: What is important to you in your work – what has to be there for you?

Action: Write down word for word what they say and use their exact words when asking follow up questions (this elicits more unconscious responses, builds rapport and gives you a glimpse into their ‘criteria’ and ‘attitudes’ towards work).

Once you’ve got your candidate to start talking, listen carefully. In which direction is their motivation moving? Towards something, such as achieving goals? Or away from things and situations they don’t want to happen?

For example, if a candidate is using Toward language – “My previous job went very well, and I enjoyed achieving my targets each month” it suggests they need goals to stay motivated, and they may wither when there is no clear direction to move toward.

If however you pick up that they are using more Away From language – “I love to solve problems that no-one else can because they will cause real issues down the line if I don’t” then they are motivated to trouble shoot and problem solve, rather than achieve goals. Deadlines are what motivates them and the negative consequences of not achieving something.

A more nuanced approach to recruiting potential has many benefits.

Assessing motivation and attitude isn’t always an easy thing to do in a short space of time. And when candidates are calling the shots, they may not be prepared to complete a psychometric test before the interview so you can quizz them on their attitudes and motivations. Yet having a psycho-linguistic tool like the Language and Behavioural (LAB) Profile up your sleeve as demonstrated in the simple questions and decoding examples above, helps you interpret a candidate’s motivations whilst they are talking so you can react and respond immediately. And best of all, they won’t even know you are profiling them and will seem to be a natural conversation!

But how exactly could the LAB Profile help with hiring those rough diamonds?

Unlike many of the thousands of psychometric tests on the market that are based on the belief that personality traits are constant, the LAB Profile recognises that our personalities are NOT fixed. We change our behaviour in different contexts and it is VITAL to know what motivates people to make decisions, act and thrive at work.

Identifying a candidate’s attitude, motivation and potential specifically at work is vital and that is what the LAB Profile does.

If you’d like to find out more about the LAB Profile and how to embed it within your recruitment strategy, read more about it on my website and get in touch!

As a coach and mentor, I help managers build their skills and confidence to recruit and retain within their setting, learning what will work for them, their team, and their organisation.