New Hire With Hidden Potential? Here’s How to Use It to Your Advantage

You bring someone in for what basically amounts to a mindless task. But your new hire surprises you. They show ingenuity and pluck. You know they are being wasted in the entry-level position you hired them to handle. You know it’s only a matter of time before they get fed up and start looking for a more promising situation.

Getting an employee with hidden skills is like winning the lottery. Instead of letting them waste away, or seeing them eventually move on, find ways to encourage them and lock them in for the long term.

Here are three ways to get the most out of your unexpectedly outstanding hire:

Don’t Trap Them on a Treadmill

You’re never going to know what your employees can do if you don’t test them. If they only repeat the same tasks over and over, they will get bored and burn out. You will never see their full potential.

This may sound obvious, but it’s an easy trap. People naturally gravitate to the things they’re good at. Practicing the same things over and over leads to better performance. Having a staid, predictable, heavily regimented schedule can provide efficiency and stability.

But try to mix in some other opportunities. Let employees get out of their comfort zones. If you see a spark in someone, let them run with a low-risk project outside their expertise. It may lead to a better long-term situation for everyone.

Provide Internal Growth Opportunities

If you want to encourage employees to develop their hidden talents, you need to let them know they can get somewhere. Let employees know you promote from within and make an effort to spot talent when it emerges.

This strategy benefits you as well. Keeping talent in-house allows you to avoid costly job searches and makes it easier to maintain a consistent corporate culture.

Meanwhile, it allows you to get the most out of your investment. You don’t want to take the time and effort (and money) to help someone develop, only to see them take their new-found talent to some other employer. Show employees they can build a long-term career with you.

Talk to Them

It’s easy to see employees like players on a fantasy football team. Just names attached to a set of skills and a likely performance, which you slot into situations as needed.

Of course, that’s not the case at all. Your employees are fully formed human beings and the more you know about them, the more value you can nurture out of them.

By getting to know your employees, you can learn interesting skills and find hidden talents. You’ll also learn about their long-term goals and discover new ways that they can grow along with the company.

Maybe your production foreman majored in accounting in college and would be a good fit for the inventory task force you’re setting up. Perhaps someone you thought of as a data entry drone runs a graphics design business on the side, perfect for the position that just opened up in the marketing department.

Need help hiring?

Getting an employee with growth potential and multi-faceted abilities is like winning the lottery. Or, you can team up with a strong recruiting partner and make it part of your overall HR plan. Qualified Staffing provides the expertise you need to fill your ranks with top-flight employees. Contact us today to find out more.

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