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With the unemployment rate at around 5% finding the right people for your business will become increasingly challenging. Furthermore low literacy levels, poor numerically abilities, and weak cognitive skills among the 18-25 year old group will add to the challenge. Recruiting on potential, rather than current abilities, may hold the key.

CIPD research has found that excluding disadvantaged groups isn’t justified in most cases. For example, employers’ experience of hiring people who have disabilities is that they are more loyal, provide a better level of customer service and a higher quality of work.

Timpsons shoe repair business has been running a scheme the employs ex-offenders for over twelve years. They have 400 ex-offenders working for them and only three people have re-offended in that time.

Diversity has long been promoted by the CIPD but businesses need to do business with others from diverse backgrounds. Understanding the cultural norms and customs is important. A diverse staff brings opportunities to develop a business.

The Prince’s Trust has demonstrated for over 40 years that inspiring young people produces results.

As the long term shift from low skilled jobs to knowledge and professional jobs continues the pool of those with few or no qualifications is likely to increase. Recruiting on qualifications alone may lead to difficulties.

The Government has launched an initiative to encourage seeing potential in those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

When it comes to interviewing and selection employers may benefit from “thinking outside the box” and focussing on potential.

Interview questions need to reveal individuals achievements which may be outside the educational system.

It is worth remembering that Sir Richard Branson has dyslexia and was once told he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire.

Will you know potential when you see it?