Tired of bad hires? Stop chasing perfection, and start hiring for potential.

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Everywhere I look, I see comments about how difficult it is to hire and retain top talent. And it’s no wonder why: According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are currently 9.8 million open roles, but only 5.9 million people to fill them. 

For employers, the race is on. Either you find and secure the candidates you need, or you lose them to the competition. Speed is key—yet hiring has become slower than ever. Time-to-hire is 40% higher than pre-COVID levels, with teams taking upward of two months to fill a role.

This isn’t just an HR problem—it’s top of mind for CEOs too. According to McKinsey executive Liz Hilton Segel, the solution is clear: “[It’s] about moving from ‘pedigree to potential.’ That means getting away from the classic characteristics used to assess people[…].”

How exactly do you hire for potential? You stop relying on a resume or Ivy League degree, and you look for high-value team players who can be taught the skills your team needs to succeed. Figure out not only how to attract the right people, but also how to upskill those you already have, and you may just win this “war for talent.”


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