Companies hire potential over experience as skills shortage hits UK
Almost two thirds of employers (58%) hire staff based on potential, rather than experience or qualification, as demand for skills outstrips supply in the UK.
Added to this, 94% state that their potential-based hires have become a valuable part of their team with less than a fifth (17%) of hiring managers expressing concerns about potential-based hires having the capability to ‘learn quickly on the job.’
In fact, 55% of professionals felt that learning and growth opportunities were more important to them than higher salaries.
The findings come from a recent survey from staffing business Walters People – specialists in temporary/contract and junior permanent recruitment – which highlights how potential-based hires will be important in the new economy.
UK Skills Shortage
65% of employers anticipate a skills shortage in 2020, with the most acute skills shortage being felt at the mid-management (57%) and junior/executive (37%) level – typically where Millennials (25 – 35) and Generation Z (18 – 24) are employed.
Phill Westcott, director of Walters People UK, who has over 17 years’ experience in the recruitment industry comments:
“Hiring based on potential is highlighting an opportunity for employers and employees to learn from each other.
“From my experience high potential employees typically demonstrate more grit, loyalty and enthusiasm for having been given the opportunity. The challenge of the unknown and the excitement of acquiring new skills keeps them motivated and engaged and helps retain them for longer.”
Phill adds: “We are seeing more employers now consider junior and potential-based hires as an invest into a more long-term approach by building a pipeline of talent for the future. Whilst helping to ease the workload, within 3-6 months these candidates are more than capable of having a sound understanding the industry and job role, whilst bringing a fresh approach and eagerness to learn.”
Finding the ‘ideal’ candidate in a knowledge/experience-based hire comes at a premium.
In the UK, 89% of companies take more than a month to fill a position, yet a whopping 40% of those hires are unsuccessful, and it takes a month to a year to reach a mutual decision that the employee was not the right fit.
Tellingly, only 20% of hires fail because of a lack of knowledge or expertise. The remaining 80% fail for reasons ranging from a mismatch in culture, attitude, and ethics.
Spotting High Potential
Responding to growing demand from companies, Walters People digitalised the standard CV to now include a video interview of the prospective candidate. This provides the client with the opportunity to screen a candidate – beyond a paper resume which lists qualifications and experience – and instead assess an individual’s communications skills, confidence and enthusiasm. Of those CV’s that do include a video interview, there has been a 60% increase in candidates being selected for a face-to-face interview.
On advice to employers when considering potential-based hires, Phill adds:
“The main objective of an interview should be to understand what the candidate is looking to achieve in their life and career, and whether there’s a good match between their personal goals and your company objective and values.
“Every role is going to have its own unique challenges and I believe that intrinsic motivation is key to keep employees going in the long run, which is why it is crucial to get to the bottom of what the candidate seeks in working at your company. If an employee is working towards their personal and career goals, then the person will be motivated to learn and strive for success.”