Think Big: Recruit the Potential; not the Experience

Don’t you have times that you strongly believe an idea or a view of point by hearth at work that others cannot feel it either you are not able to explain enough or they are not ready to that kind of change? Unfortunately, difference is not coming from the experience, but it is coming from curiosity and interest not only to your direct responsibilities, but also to whatever happening around you! I know, this is not a conventional thinking and it is not helping you ,at least at the moment, to accommodate you to your team members and the company you work for.

What about having a motivation for a great mission for your company and a strong ambition to realize an idea to a reality?

I have just and article based on Claudio Fernández-Aráoz’s “It’s Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best” book on Harvard Business Review (HBR) Turkey. The author suggests that potential is a better ember rather than IQ, experience and proficiencies.

According to, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz is a top global expert on talent and leadership and has been repeatedly ranked by BusinessWeek as one of the most influential executive search consultants in the world.

If you have completed your opposed ego, please keep on reading…


Potential as a Performance Predictor


A few years ago, when he is assigned to find a new CEO to an e-commerce family business, he worked closely with the BOD and prepared a list of experience and proficiency based candidate list. They picked up the best candidate whom has the highest score of the score card. Unfortunately, due to the great change of the technology, competition and legislations, he could not adapt and resigned with a dim performance.

Quinsa, the market leader in the south of Latin America beer sector, was looking for an executive in Claudio’s early career. He desided to offer Pedro Algorta to the company. But Pedro had no single experience in FMCG sector, no single proficiency of sales and marketing. And for sure, he had no experience in the region as well. Quinsa confinced to hire Mr. Pedro and he quickly promoted to the GM in the region, followed by another promotion to amiral ship factory as a CEO. He was one of the top key executive who changed the family company into a holding company.


Active thinkers, pro-active learners and fast adaptors


It is suggested that hiring and promotion decisions should based on the potential. Because, the business environment is changing very fast and the necessary skills are need to be learnt. Companies need active thinkers, pro-active learners and fast adaptors.

It is much more difficult to differentiate the potential than distinguishing the proficiencies. There are too many reaserch and arcticle mentioned that CEO’s are not confident about who is going to be at the key roles in the future (PwC – CEO Research, 2014 / BSG Reseach)

These evidences shows that companies should change their hiring processes and promotion models from today. But what skills they are going to track in the forest?

  • Curiosity for new experience, knowledge, real feedback needs and open for change
  • Insight for collecting new information and make a sense of for new probabilities
  • Connecting / Engagement with people to convince them for his/her vision with using emotions and logic
  • Stability for fighting with difficult conditions and reached tough targets at the end

Finally, when you find your “potentials” push them to work out of their comfort zones to develop different skills for the future of your company.

Remember, the world is too big but with limited number of “potentials”.


Networking Kings and Queens


Today, the companies are full of “networking kings and queens” who have limited ability and updated skills. Are they not enough for today? Absolutely not! They “look like” they are the best option for their companies “for today”. They are surviving today and using their network in the HR to control the potential human resource entries to the companies. All is to limit the entrance of the disruptive talent to their teams. There are too many mid-level executives and managers in numerous big companies who are not able to jump for the next level, rather stayed as a kind of supportive role for their managers.

The dilemma starts here: To get an attention they need to work hard, but their old-fashioned managers are controlling them not to be visible in the system. If they are lucky enough, there would be top-executive change in the company which has a very low chance, to discover them in their company, or they need to be on the job market to find a better job. But again, there are very limited number of HR professionals who are right skilled and aware the importance of “potential”.


Suggested Readings:



Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain

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