IN THE MIDDLE | career advancement

3 Things To Look for When Hiring for Growth Potential

By Alyanna Silvestre
Published July 01, 2022

Finding the "perfect" fit for an open position is never easy, but it's doable! You just have to put a premium on the things that matter, and in most cases, it should be on a candidate's growth potential. To help you with that, below are three things you should pay more attention to in order to really identify a talent's potential and the value a candidate may bring to the company not only in the present but in the long run.

Potential and Trajectory

Trajectory hires are not hired for what they've already done. You hire them because of what they're capable of doing.

When hiring, your focus should not only be on the "now" of the company. You're hiring for the long run, not just finding someone to fill a role so you can tick it off your list. Therefore, it's imperative to evaluate not just where a candidate is and what they can do today but also where they're headed, how they progressed through the years, and how capable they are of adapting and growing.

A few ways to evaluate this is to test their eagerness to learn and willingness to roll up their sleeves not just to get the job done but to seek more opportunities and challenges outside of their comfort zone that would force them to stretch their capabilities and grow their career themselves. You can also review their previous roles with a focus on whether they kept the same responsibilities for years or did and learned a lot more than expected of them to understand their professional growth, commitment, consistency, and overall career trajectory. Think of it as a track record of continuous learning, if you may.

It's also best to look for a pattern or initiative from them to learn new things and push themselves further to add more value to the company and improve their performance.


We're often too focused on finding talent based on reliability, problem-solving, leadership, communication, and the like. Sadly, there's one quality that's rarely on the list when in reality, it should be – humility.

Humility is a quality often overlooked by many, but it can really be a dealbreaker. (No, really, hear me out.) I know that there's this misconception that humility is a "weak" attribute, self-deprecation if you may, but it is, in fact, not a lack of self-confidence but freedom from arrogance.

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less." 

Professionals with humility know that they're not all that. They are aware of their limitations and often put their egos aside for the benefit of the team and the company, therefore serving as an important attribute to both their personal professional growth as this leaves them more receptive to feedback and open to viewing mistakes as learning opportunities, as well as the team's output and overall development as credit will be given where it is due and a healthy culture of empowering one another will be built.


Processes and procedures can be found in every corner of a business to tell employees when something should be done and how it should be carried out. However, we are still in such a time where change is very much constant, not only because of the pandemic but the change of government and other newsworthy developments around the world, so companies must bank on that constant to get past resiliency and survivability and achieve sustainability. The best way to deal with this is to build a team creative enough yet not too far crazy to break processes and think outside the box.

The first thing to put your mind to when planning to hire for innovation is to define what it means to your company. Each company's definition of innovation is different. Yours may include taking big risks, some may consider the improvement of an old idea as innovation, and others find the implementation of innovative ideas more crucial than building the concept itself. To each their own, so settle your cup of innovation before you set forth to look for your very own innovative team. Once you've identified your definition of innovation, the next best thing to do is to come up with critical situational questions which will not only bring out the creativity in a candidate but also their humility and potential.

Next Stop: The Search

You now have an idea of identifying candidates' growth potential; let the search begin!

Need assistance in finding the perfect team of professionals? We've got you covered!

Icon Executive Asia is an executive management solutions firm that has been in the recruitment industry for the past decade. Composed of experienced recruitment executives offering services ranging from executive search to consultancy search, we have developed expertise in talent acquisition for various industries. We're here to help you put your best foot forward and find the right talent for your company. Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn to learn more about our process and services today!