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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

While some businesses believe an applicant’s potential for future success is more important than their past experience when hiring, a background check expert explains that “measures of past performance can create an accurate outlook for future performance,” according to the article entitled “What’s More Important When Hiring: Future Potential or Past Performance?” posted on the Talent Economy website.

The article explains hiring for potential vs. past experience: Given how organizations are taking a more well-rounded to approach to hiring by looking for people who fit the organization’s culture and possess strong technical skills, it makes sense for some companies to consider looking beyond simply what a candidate has done in past jobs and instead focusing on their potential to learn and grow in the future.

While the approach of favoring future potential over past performance would not work for every role in the professional world – pilots or surgeons, for example – firms such as Fast Company and Workday Inc. interviewed for the article found success hiring “for a sense of shared values” and interviewing candidates about their “interests, passions and values more so than their skills,” which can develop over time.

However, Brad Landin, president and chief compliance officer at Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), an employee background check company based in the San Francisco, California area, told Talent Economy that with “a standardized application, the right questions, and professional references, measures of past performance can create an accurate outlook for future performance.”

Landin – a background check industry veteran – explained that ESR “uses behavioral-based interviews that focus on a candidate’s past behaviors, which helps to uncover more accurate measures of past performance beyond what candidates put on their résumés.” Landin also said this approach is not “just looking at the stats on a résumé and taking them at face value” and is much more indicative of future performance.

“You want to be able to bring people into the organization that have that type of mindset and that have demonstrated that type of behavior in the past,” Landin said, adding that a more focused and successful workforce is achieved when organizational activities align to specific goals, each worker shares a part in that achievement, and company leaders reward, promote, and terminate workers based on that criteria.

Landin also said that knowing when to let someone go is an important part of the hiring process: “It’s important to be brutally honest about if the company has the right person in the job. After a reasonable amount of time — typically around 90 days — if the new hire isn’t performing, let them go and move on.” The complete article by Talent Economy Associate Editor Lauren Dixon is available here.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR)  — a global background check firm — is  accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and undergoes annual SOC 2® audits to protect consumer information. ESR founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual.” To learn more, visit

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

© 2017 Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – Making copies or using of any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.

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