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Why Potential is Important in the Workplace

An employee's potential serves as an indicator of a lot of factors related to long-term success – the ability to pick up on training quickly, the ability to learn new things, and the ability to excel beyond expectations. The potential to learn, adapt, and grow is invaluable in the workplace, which is why potential is so important to look for in job applicants.

Potential isn't about what an applicant can already do but rather what an applicant will someday be able to do. Identifying potential in your applicants can be challenging, but one way to evaluate potential is through cognitive aptitude, or a person's ability to think critically, solve problems, and digest and apply new information. Decades of research on hiring tactics demonstrate that cognitive aptitude is one of the best indicators of long-term success in a role. Potential can be particularly helpful when hiring entry level positions or recent graduates, since these candidates often have limited job histories.

Employers looking to hire for potential often administer the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT). The CCAT is a cognitive aptitude test that assesses a candidate's ability to solve problems, think critically, and learn and apply new information. The test can be used to evaluate how quickly an applicant will be able to pick up training, adapt to changes, and develop over time in a role.

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