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Hiring for potential: It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, it matters where you want to go!

Monday 30th January

Hiring for potential: It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, it matters where you want to go!
Read time: 5 minutes

The start of 2023 saw the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss mountain town of Davos. The war in Ukraine, the threat of a recession, continuing challenges caused by Covid-19 and evolving globalisation meant that this year’s event was the largest in history, convening a record number of leaders from governments and businesses around the world to discuss these challenges. There were many topics that dominated the discussion, from the actions that companies must take to achieve net-zero (i.e. the balance between carbon emitted into the atmosphere and carbon removed) to the space economy and the innovations it can teach us. One particular area of discussion, which is close to our hearts at Arctic Shores, was workforce planning and the skills shortage, as well as inclusion and how it helps companies gain a competitive edge. 

A global survey conducted in 2022 found that seventy-five percent of companies across eight countries reported issues with skills shortages, which in turn have implications for company performance and growth (ManPowerGroup, 2022). It is also well documented that inclusion is a key component of any economic strategy - the most diverse companies are more likely to outperform less diverse ones on profitability, 25% more likely in fact! (McKinsey, 2019).

So how do we address this skills shortage and achieve inclusion targets?

At Arctic Shores, we believe in the power of inclusion and that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you want to go. We value potential and diversity as much as skills and experience. We know that if you focus on hiring for potential you can address the skills gap, whilst also achieving diversity and inclusion targets. Many of our customers also share this vision. They have already addressed these challenges by using our behaviour-based assessment (BBA) to identify the candidates who have the potential to succeed. They have used our BBA to measure behaviours such as: learning agility, resilience, innovation potential, emotional intelligence to build sustainable relationships (and much more), whilst at the same time, removing bias from their processes. 

What practical steps have our customers taken to achieve these results?

Our customers who believe in the ‘power of potential’ have taken the following steps:

Job descriptions and adverts
  • Reviewing the language used in a job description - does it focus on past experience, is it inclusive in terms of appealing to individuals from different backgrounds, genders and ethnicities? Does it focus on the specific behaviours required for success in the role? Does it emphasise the training and support that can be provided to help an individual excel and grow?
  • Reviewing the language utilised in job adverts and recruitment campaigns to ensure that it is focused on potential rather than past experience.
Scrapping the CV & using our BBA to sift for potential, not past experience
  • Scrapping the CV as a sifting tool (i.e. not using it to make selection decisions since it focuses on past experience as opposed to answering the important question “Is this individual capable of succeeding in this role now and in the future?”). It is also well documented that the CV can cause bias to enter into an assessment process and encourage companies to make decisions based on where an individual went to school or what their hobbies are rather than what’s important for success.
  • Utilising our BBA as a sifting tool to help gather primary evidence (i.e. because we ask candidates to complete tasks rather than answer questions we can observe and gather first hand evidence of them demonstrating pivotal behaviours required for success). This overcomes the challenge of having to take a candidate at their word when they are talking about how resilient they are or how agile their learning is - you can see it in action with our BBA.
  • Identify causes of adverse impact or bias upfront and eliminate it - this is possible when using our BBA which focuses on measuring behaviours not past experience.
Amend your interview process to assess for potential and prevent bias
  • Using the insights from our BBA and interview guides to help tap into a candidate’s potential to excel in a role rather than focusing on their experience from the past. Use behaviourally anchored scoring guides to rate your candidates on the job requirements and ensure bias free, objective decisions.
  • Using future focused rather than past-behavioural questions to identify if candidates have the behaviours to succeed in your roles. For example, past behavioural questions are limiting because talented, strong fit candidates for your roles may not have the specific experience to draw upon, but this does not mean they can’t be successful in the role. Future focused questions include asking candidates a question related to the outcomes required in the role, e.g. “This role requires you to plan and organise your time effectively to deliver multiple projects at the same time. Tell me how you would do that?” Our interview guides also support you to rate their answers using criteria important for success in the role.
  • Our BBA and platform are intuitive and easy to use, however, we also have a ‘Hiring for Potential Playbook’ which provides step-by-step guidance of how to change your process to help you overcome the skills crisis and achieve inclusion targets. Our Business Psychologists can also provide support and guidance if needed.

In summary, our BBA has helped customers identify candidates who have the behaviours to succeed in their organisations and the ability to excel in the future. These individuals may have been sifted out using CV’s as they focus too much on what someone has done in the past, rather than their potential. Each of the challenges highlighted at the World Economic Forum this year requires ingenuity and new ways of working, so join us on our journey in 2023 to overcome the skills gap and hire for potential! We truly believe that it does not matter where you’ve come from, it matters where you want to go!

If you want to read more about our Scrap the CV campaign, you can download the report here.

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