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Why your hiring processes need to consider candidates’ potential and purpose

This blog post draws from Data-Driven Recruiting episode #62, where CodeSignal Co-Founder Sophia Baik talks with guest Stephanie Cheng about the importance of purpose in making career decisions—especially during times of uncertainty and change. 

A successful career coach with a background in Product Management, Stephanie Cheng grounds her work supporting clients in two key observations about the world today. The first is that technological and economic developments are happening faster than ever—”an unprecedented rate of change,” says Cheng. The second is that, compared to humans at any other point in history, “we live a really long time.” Together, these circumstances mean that “we have a longer horizon to experience more opportunities,” Cheng explains.

These insights don’t just shape the advice Cheng offers individual job-seekers, however. They also have important implications for Recruiting and Talent Management professionals who are responsible for identifying top talent in unprecedented times. In this article, we explore two key factors that hiring teams today should consider for identifying and closing the right candidates for the job: potential and purpose. 

Hiring for potential

In today’s world of constant change, new careers and industries can come and go in a matter of just a few years. Take smartphones, for example—the first iPhone was released in the summer of 2007. Today, you can have a career dedicated to iPhone mobile app development.

What does this mean for recruiters and hiring teams? It means that you can no longer expect your candidates to have years of experience in a specialized skill. What may, in fact, be more important is a candidate’s ability to learn and adapt quickly.

Companies today “can’t just hire on expertise, because expertise gets stale,” explains Cheng. “So what you want to look for is potential.” Hiring for potential requires hiring teams to look beyond resumes in recruiting and use tools like skill-based assessments that provide a better signal of candidate potential.

Engaging candidates on purpose

Confronted with an incredible variety of ever-changing opportunities, job-seekers today focus their decision-making on finding a role that provides a sense of purpose.

Jobs in today’s economy are centered on problem-solving; this skill remains constant, even as technologies and industries shift. To stand out in a candidate’s field of opportunities, then, a recruiter’s challenge is to show the candidate how the problem they’d be solving is one they care about. 

Hiring teams can build meaningful connections with candidates by engaging with what each candidate cares about. This will help candidates understand how this position fits into their larger career path and purpose—which can be the key to landing the best hires.

To Cheng, job-seekers’ focus on “always needing to find meaning and purpose” is anything but frivolous. Full-time positions require a significant commitment of time and energy—over 90,000 hours over a lifetime, on average—so it is only natural that candidates will prioritize finding purpose in their career. Hiring teams would be well-served by doing the same.

Learn more

Want to learn more about how you can build a winning organization through data-driven recruiting that goes beyond resumes? Visit CodeSignal to find out how you can measure technical skills effectively and objectively with its automated assessment and live interview solutions.