Strategic Human Capital Insights

How to Hire the Right Employee with the Greatest Growth Potential


This is the fourth blog in our ‘soft skills hiring practices’ series. If you missed any of the other blogs in our series, you can view them here.

Image of human hands holding plant shaped like arrowEmployees with Growth Potential and the Looming Talent Crisis

This blog focuses on interviewing questions that can help you tangibly determine the growth potential of a candidate.  Why are these questions so incredibly important? Our organizations, according to Workforce 2020, are in a talent crisis. With the rate of change increasing, employee skills are deteriorating or become obsolete every 2 – 2.5 years. In IT, this ‘skills obsolescence’ is actually accelerating given:

  • all the change stressors IT is experiencing in general
  • the increased demands being placed on IT’s human resources

When employees were surveyed, 60% responded that they fear becoming obsolete and irrelevant given the demands of the future workplace.

Given that we are now working in a continuously changing and dynamic environment, we need to address the organizational need to have employees who have growth potential and can align and stay relevant with the rapidly changing work demands.

Download our 13-step competency checklist to build the IT department of the  future


Cost of Hiring or Keeping the Wrong Person

In addition, did you know that if an employee leaves an organization, it can cost as much as 1.5 times more to replace that employee?  This means that hiring people who have the potential to grow with your company not only saves you the time and resources of replacing them, but it also saves the organization money.

Top 5 Growth Potential Questions

If your company is in a growth mode, and what company isn’t in today's world, it’s critical that you hire the right person in the right role with the right assessment of their growth potential.

To help determine if your candidates have the potential to grow with your organization, here are the top 5 growth potential questions to ask during your next candidate interview:

  1. Recall a time when your manager was unavailable when a problem arose. How did you handle the situation?  With whom did you consult?  What was the outcome?  What did you learn?
  1. Describe a time when you volunteered to expand your knowledge at work, as opposed to being directed to do so? What caused you to volunteer?  What was the outcome?  What did you learn?
  1. What would motivate you to make a move from your current role?
  1. When was the last occasion you asked for direct feedback from a superior? Why?
  1. What was the biggest career goal you have ever achieved? What did it take for you to be successful?  What did you learn?

If you are interested in learning about more behavioral interview questions to ask your candidates, we invite you to sign up for our blog to stay updated on our ‘soft skills’ series.

Are you looking to build the IT department of the future? Download the IT Competency Checklist to help you determine if your IT Department is ready to perform at sustainable peak levels for all necessary business skills in your organization. We also invite you to schedule a complimentary assessment with a member of our team.

Download the Checklist >>

Topics: Soft Skills

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Joanne Flynn

Joanne T. Flynn heads up the human capital advisory group, Phoenix Strategic Performance, Inc. Previously, she was a Managing Director with Phoenix Group International and was Vice President / Director of Global Learning and Development at Goldman, Sachs for nine years. Joanne works with organizations as they face global growth and competitive challenges. She works with her clients to be both externally focused and internally responsive. With her unique background, she aligns competitive strategic efforts with related internal organizational leadership challenges. With the benefit of her career-long focus, Joanne contributes the unique insight of aligning strategy to internal organizational structure and process. She focuses on human capital relative to strategic initiatives, accelerated business growth, value creation, and business development. Joanne holds a Master of Arts degree in Business Management from the University of Oklahoma. In addition, she holds a double degree major in History and German from St. Elizabeth University, as well as certificates from a variety of leading universities and professional training and development organizations. Joanne has recently published her latest book, Accelerating Business Success, The Human Asset Management Strategy.

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