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Monday, 23 June 2014

The Power of Potential

This blog has the potential to be quite valuable.

Following up on the last post about emotional intelligence, today we look at another factor that has been influencing how hiring decisions are being made - the importance of "potential."

In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, an international executive recruiter Claudio Ferdandez-Araoz, proclaimed that potential is now "the most important predictor of success at all levels."

Those with the "ability to adapt and grow into increasingly complex roles and environments" display potential. What constitutes potential? Motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination.

Ferdandez-Araoz suggests that the best way to demonstrate your potential is through stories. Detailed stories. As recruiters, we need to ask for thorough backgrounds and references, and candidates need to consider their experiences in order to offer detailed and thoughtful stories that demonstrate the five factors mentioned above.

In contrast to emotional intelligence tests, the pursuit of potential is very much grounded in past behavior, despite its innate concern with the future.

Why should we be concerned about potential? For companies and individuals, potential is going to be an important factor for continued success. Ferdandez-Araoz cites three factors that have significantly impacted employment: globalization, demographics, and pipeline.

With increased globalization has come increased demand for talent around the world. Corporate headquarters, and thereby talent, are no longer concentrated in select countries or cities, but spread across the world. Demographically, the effects of baby boomers are finally being felt. There are more people in management positions retiring than there are young people ready to replace them. Finally, pipeline: there's nothing in it. Companies have done an inadequate job of training and preparing future leaders. As Ferdandez-Araoz states, "combine all those factors, and you get a war for talent." The result is that demand is high, and supply is low.

Potential is the solution for both sides. Looking for the potential in candidates, rather than solely focusing on hard skills and specific experience will allow companies to discover opportunity in people they may have missed in the past. For candidates, mining your potential is how you will distinguish yourself. Think about what motivates you, what makes you curious, what excites you, and what you're passionate about in order to demonstrate potential beyond your resume.


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