One of the biggest challenges when hiring someone is trying to envision their potential.
Sometimes someone’s a sure bet. They’re the perfect person for the perfect project at the perfect time. Their pedigree is exceptional, their portfolio is stocked with amazing work, their experience is vast, they’re a confident interview, and everything just feels right.
It happens, but that’s not how it usually works. There are very few perfect people.
Instead there’s a lot of future perfect people. People who have the potential to become the perfect person in the perfect role if just given the right opportunity.
When I hire designers, I look for future perfect people. Some people have the potential, but they haven’t had the opportunities. Their portfolios are full of mediocre work, but it’s not because they’re mediocre designers. It’s because they’ve been given mediocre opportunities.
A lot of future perfect people are stuck in current mediocre positions. They just haven’t had the chance to do their best work.
While it’s a bonus to find that perfect person today, I find more it more rewarding (for me and them) to pluck the future perfect person out of their mediocre job today. I love betting on people with potential. When they finally get that chance to do their best work, they blossom in such a special way.
And as the owner of a company, few things make me prouder than seeing someone excelling in a way that their resume/portfolio/references wouldn’t have suggested they could.