When you start the hiring process, the first thing that is often done is to decide how much experience you want the candidates to have. Then, the candidates are often reviewed based on their education level and experience in the industry. Having experience is often important to the job, and the right experience can bring in a candidate who is ready to do the work without a lot of training. However, the candidate’s experience isn’t the whole story. If you go solely on experience, you may be missing out on employees who have a lot more to offer to your company.


Being able to adapt and grow to fit the changing landscape of business is a vital skill that candidates in most industries should have. This quality is often what leads to the most success in a company, not necessarily the skills the employee arrived with. Often, experience doesn’t tell you whether a candidate has this ability. To truly see candidates for their potential, assess how well they learn new skills and how often in their careers they have had to learn new ones and adapt to changes.

Leadership Potential

Any important new hire should come with leadership skills to allow them to be ready to fill critical roles within your company. Seeing their past leadership roles can be helpful, but it may not predict how well they will be able to lead in the future. Instead, an assessment of the candidate’s motivations and career engagement will help you to understand what kind of potential for leadership is there. A candidate who displays humility and a willingness to expand skills and improve existing ones shows a higher level of potential than someone set in their ways with a long history of leadership positions.


An effective employee is one who gets things done and sets sights on continuing to do so. Paying attention to a candidate’s determination and drive to succeed may be a better indicator of their success in your company than their resume. A highly motivated employee is not one whose productivity and drive will diminish over time. Assessing a candidate’s drive and hunger to succeed can be a good predictor of how well they will fare within your company.

What Can’t Be Taught

Most job skills can be taught. However, the qualities that often lead to success are not ones that you can teach to a new employee. Sometimes that quality is adaptability. Sometimes it’s a personality that fits well with your corporate culture. Sometimes it’s a blend of several qualities that will lead to a high level of success.

When you’re seeking the right candidate, take the whole person into account rather than simply a resume. The qualities that are most important to your company may not be apparent by simply reading about the candidate’s education and experience.