Working Romania | Dan Puica (BestJobs): Companies today are more likely to hire based on potential rather than existing skills

Anca Alexe 12/11/2019 | 16:30

Employee potential is more important today than the skills they have at the point of recruitment, said Dan Puica, the CEO of BestJobs, at Business Review’s Working Romania conference on Tuesday. 

“There are three main reasons behind this trend of having a higher focus on potential.

First of all, we’re experiencing a war over talent, as there aren’t enough employees on the market and it’s difficult for a company to fill certain positions. Through BestJobs, we see candidates who don’t really fit the job description being called for interviews as employers need to have higher flexibility in this sense. A 60-70 percent compatibility level is usually enough to get an interview.

Second is the fact that never before in history could people develop their skills as quickly as today – you can go from entry-level to senior in a very short amount of time, as there are plenty of resources available everywhere – learning solutions, tutoring, coaching, internships, etc. If you really want to, you can go from beginner to expert in 1-2 years.

The third factor are the rapid changes in technology. For example, a certain programming language can be very popular at one point and become obsolete in a couple of years, so it no longer matters how good a developer was in that language at a certain point in time. This is also true of other fields – tools are changing and employees have to learn how to use the new and improved solutions.”

Puica talked about the ways in which BestJobs aims to help companies adapt to these new recruitment trends by promoting potential-based hiring.

“The data we currently have on candidates is incomplete and is not being used efficiently. CVs are a useful tool, but they don’t provide complete information. The strategic direction we’d like to see is figuring out how to add new services and information that would lower the risk of failed recruitment. Candidates would ideally go through a more complex profiling process and tell us more about themselves – personality, skills, work habits.

BestJobs is working on developing this type of system, which takes over a lot of the work currently being done by HR professionals, both before they post a job ad and afterwards.”

The BestJobs CEO also addressed the idea that the gig economy and the current work trends may place a bigger focus on employee and company brands.

“We need to think about the mission of both employers and employees in the recruitment process. The ideal result is of course a perfect match: companies want an employee who can contribute to growth, fit well into the culture and not be disruptive in any way. Employees want pretty much the same things, but they say it differently: the company has to help me increase my professional value, both financially and skills-wise.

The concept of branding and self presentation must be well thought out by both the candidate and the employer. I want to raise a red flag about employer branding – the idea has developed a bit more quickly than we would have wanted it – many employers think of it as a list of “delighters”, but they must ensure that they are not superficial and that they truly address the things that motivate employees.”

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