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When hiring, do you have a list of requirements that you refuse to deviate from? Do you judge candidates harshly if they don’t check off every item on your wish list? If so, you probably have a difficult time finding the right people for your organization.  If your standards are too rigid you could be tossing out an exceptional new employee. In today’s tight talent market, you must be willing to look beyond a candidate’s resume and learn how to spot someone with excellent potential. Here are three ways to spot a diamond in the rough.

They Show An Eagerness To Learn

Skills can be learned on the job, but many hiring managers write off candidates who may lack a specific skill. However, studies show that only 11 percent of new hires fail due to lack of functional jobs skills because skills can always be taught it is a willingness to learn that makes the difference.

You can uncover someone’s eagerness to learn by asking questions like, “Tell me about a skill you struggled to learn. What was your approach to finally mastering it?” Candidates’ answers to these questions can tell you a lot about how motivated they are to learn and push themselves. Unlike skills, willingness to learn is something that can’t be taught.

They Have Ability To Accept Feedback

Hand-in-hand with eagerness to learn is the ability to accept and act upon constructive feedback. Who do you think would make a better employee? Someone who thinks they know the best way to do something and never accepts feedback from their boss or someone who tries their best, takes feedback and uses it to improve?

Not everyone can accept feedback, and you’ll sometimes find that very talented people who have been praised their whole lives have difficulty accepting and acting on feedback. People who have had to work a little harder or to whom things don’t naturally come easy are often much more willing and able to take feedback and leverage it to their advantage.

They Have Critical Thinking Skills

The inability to solve problems creatively is a major gripe among employers today. However, most hiring managers never test for problem-solving or critical thinking ability in an interview. Include a question like “How many tennis balls would it take to fill up a bus?” And ask the candidate to work through the problem aloud.  They do not have to be math geniuses (unless you’re hiring for a mathematical position, of course), nor do they have to get the answer correct. What you’re really looking for are signs that the candidate can work through a tough problem logically and systematically.

Are You Looking For New Ways To Find Talent?

Learning how to spot a diamond in the rough makes sense, but it isn’t always easy. If you are ready to uncover hidden gems, partner with professional recruiters who can help you strategize, plan and achieve your goals. Contact the hiring experts at TRC Professional Solutions today to learn how we can help you find the talent you’re looking for.


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