Irish companies hire potential over experience as skills shortage hits

Irish companies hire potential over experience as skills shortage hits

Almost two thirds of employers (58%) hire staff based on potential, rather than experience or qualification, as demand for skills outstrips supply in the Ireland.

This is according to findings come from a recent survey from staffing business Walters People – specialists in temporary/contract and junior permanent recruitment – which highlights how potential-based hires will be important in the new economy.

The survey was completed in October 2019 and was based on a survey with 3,500 professionals and 1,200 hiring managers across Ireland.

The survey shows that 94% state that their potential-based hires have become a valuable part of their team with less than a fifth (17%) of hiring manager expressing concerns about potential-based hires having the capability to ‘learn quickly on the job.’ In fact, 55% of professionals felt that learning and growth opportunities were more important to them than higher salaries.

Furthermore, the survey shows that 65% of employers anticipate a skills shortage in 2020, with the most acute skills shortage being felt at the mid-management (57%) and junior/executive (37%) level – typically where Millennials (25 – 35) and Generation Z (18 – 24) are employed.

In Ireland, 89% of companies take more than a month to fill a position, yet a whopping 40% of those hires are unsuccessful, and it takes a month to a year to reach a mutual decision that the employee was not the right fit.

Tellingly, only 20% of hires fail because of a lack of knowledge or expertise. The remaining 80% fail for reasons ranging from a mismatch in culture, attitude and ethics.

In the survey, hiring managers stated that the following factors from an interviewee determined a candidates potential: willingness to learn (74%), motivation (65%), engagement (34%), creativity (29%), insights (16%) and curiosity (13%).

Commenting on the survey, Director of Walters People Ireland, Sarah Owen said, "Hiring based on potential is highlighting an opportunity for employers and employees to learn from each other. From my experience high potential employees typically demonstrate more grit, loyalty and enthusiasm for having been given the opportunity. The challenge of the unknown and the excitement of acquiring new skills keeps them motivated and engaged and helps retain them for longer."

She added, "We are seeing more employers now consider junior and potential-based hires as an invest into a more long-term approach by building a pipeline of talent for the future. Whilst helping to ease the workload, within 3-6 months these candidates are more than capable of having a sound understanding the industry and job role, whilst bringing a fresh approach and eagerness to learn."