Identifying Hidden Skills In Your Workforce

Denise LeaserBiztools, Blog, Career Fit Assessments, GreatBizTools, HR Leaders, SkillsLeave a Comment


I’m going to start today’s blog off by getting a little more personal than I usually do. 

Once, I had an employee who was, shall we say, underperforming. Both by my standards and her own. She wasn’t doing the job to the level I knew she could, and thus she wasn’t getting the praise and promotions that most employees view as essential to their motivation. I’ve always been against letting people go unless it’s the only option. Not only does firing an employee decrease the morale of your workforce, but it costs twice as much as you were paying them to replace them.

I’d noticed that this particular employee had a creative side that she didn’t get to utilize in her current role. Simultaneously, I realized that it might be a good idea to start a company newsletter, to help create a bond between me and my employees. So, thinking this creative outlet might give a burst of motivation to this struggling employee, I assigned the task of creating it to her.

This achieved exactly what I’d hoped it would. Not only had I found a way to channel her hidden potential into an asset for my company, but I’d given her a task she looked forward to that made clocking in less of a dreadful experience.

I’m telling you this story to help you realize something: your employees don’t exist in a vacuum. Each one of them reads a rich and unique life away from their desk, full of insight and hidden potential that can make your company better. And if you’re not finding and utilizing the hidden potential in your employees, you’re only getting half of their value.

Think about it this way: anybody can fill a seat. To select your employees, you went through a careful and intensive application, review, and interview process to find people who would be a benefit to your company. But if you aren’t allowing them to use the unique aspects that made you hire them in the first place, you’re leaving them unsatisfied and making poor use of your resources. So, how can you find this “hidden potential”?

Speaking frankly, the easiest way to find out more about somebody is to ask them questions. I understand that it’s not practical to have a lengthy conversation with every employee, but there’s a way to get to know them on a more personal level without using too much of your time. With MyInnerGenius, you can send around an office-wide assessment that’s built to help unearth talents, skills, and interests of your employees that you may have never known.

But this doesn’t only apply to existing employees. Imagine, being able to have all the insight into all the capabilities that employees leave off their resumes!

Resumes, as it turns out, are actually more of a hindrance than a help, to both employers and employees. By condensing all of their professional and educational experience down to one page, an employee is forced to sell themselves short in order to get a job. Does this make sense? When hiring, wouldn’t it benefit us to have a more comprehensive view of the employee?

If I had had more than just the resume to go off of when I was hiring the employee I mentioned in my story, I’d have known that she had creative potential upfront and could have utilized it from the start. The situation wouldn’t have had to get to the point where she was miserable coming into work under-performing for me to investigate where her true passions were.

It’s because of this employee—and the many like her stuck in jobs where they’re not being used to their full potential—that I advocate for the use of assessments over resumes. With questions geared towards employees’ hobbies, interests, and skills that might not make it onto the resume, you are able to hire more effectively and use your employees to their full potential. And if my experience is anything to go by, the employee will be thankful for it too.

Ready to start hiring smarter? A career fit assessment from MyInnerGenius can put all your hiring worries to bed. Our assessments yield proven positive results (just ask IBM and Starbucks). Ready to try one – for free? For more info on our career fitness assessments and to enjoy a free demo, visit us at

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