You Should Never Overlook Potential

By Chris O’Leary, Loss Prevention Recruiters
Published in LP Magazine Newsletter Jan 26, 2012

We all know that old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ and this is absolutely true when you are filling your field positions. It is also true that you also get what you pay for based on what you can afford.

Being an astute business person who is simply attempting to keep their budgets in line and their bosses happy is commendable but unless you are lucky enough to find someone who is unemployed your field positions will probably stay open much longer than anticipated if you are focused solely on that ‘hit the ground running’ type candidate.

Everyone wants to hire someone who ‘has been there done that’ but what about potential? The reality is that because of what some multi-store field type positions are paying, potential is exactly what you will be able to afford.  And this is especially true if you are recruiting in major high cost of living markets where you will typically find that most candidates with the experience level you are seeking are already over- priced and out of your reach. But don’t worry because there is absolutely nothing wrong with hiring potential!

The fact of the matter is that I have typically found these candidates to be very motivated. They have more to prove and will do whatever it takes to be successful. So I wouldn’t be so quick to reject those resumes with less experience because you just might be overlooking a future superstar. And believe me there are some retailers with realistic expectations that understand what potential is all about and if you don’t call these candidates they will.

Considering that the top incentives for changing companies are stepping up in your career from a responsibility standpoint and of course also from a compensation standpoint. So where is the incentive in making a lateral move? I seriously doubt that as a hiring a manger that you would even consider making a lateral move so why should they? As a career advisor I would challenge you if you called me and were thinking about making a lateral move unless it was for the right reasons such as your current company was in serious financial jeopardy or perhaps you have a geographical preference or  that the new company simply offers much more stability and advancement potential for you.

Remember that we all advanced in our careers because someone took a chance and believed in our potential. The easiest path to take is to look for that over qualified candidate but as a leader and developer of people and teams what are you doing to produce the future leaders of our industry?

And as a leader there is no greater satisfaction than seeing that ‘potential’ or that ‘diamond in the rough’ type hire not only meet your expectations but exceed them. Then when it is time for them move onto their next company and step in their career you can take great pride in saying that you were an integral part of their development. Who knows maybe someday they will take a chance on you!


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