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Do Employers Spot Potential?

  January 28, 2016   

A recent survey revealed that 79% of employers have no assessment process or tools in place to discover the potential within employees.

Revealing numbers

The survey carried out by HR consultancy Penna, in which 1,000 managers participated, also revealed that while 81% agree that development of staff potential is fairly or extremely important, 30% of managers said their organisation have not defined what potential looks like for them.

Penna also surveyed 1,000 employees. 71% of the employees said they were more likely to stay with an employer that recognised their potential, but 24% of those had no idea whether or not their employer thought they had what it takes. Furthermore, when potential was recognised, only 23% said there had been any investment in developing that potential.

A systematic approach

Penny de Valk, managing director of Penna Talent Practice, suggested that a systematic and disciplined approach from employers to identifying and investing in potential was required. Employers need a clear and measurable definition of what potential looks like for them, and a system in place to measure it.

PA Consulting Group encourage employers to look for talent in all age groups, not just among young professionals. Potential is no longer fixed, "it changes as aspiration and ambition change".

Disabled employees – focus on ability

Helen Cooke, Director and Founder of Great With Disability, recommends having a system in place for spotting talent, as it could help employers become more disability friendly.

"If no tools are in place to recognise anyone's potential it is likely that disabled people will totally be overlooked. Employers need to stop focussing on what a disabled employee cannot do and instead recognise the unique perspective and the valuable skills they bring."

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