When it's time to hire someone new to your company, do you prioritize experience? Or do you value qualities like values, enthusiasm, and other soft skills in a candidate?
Whether you and your organization want to employ on the basis of experience or raw talent, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you hire the proper people.
While the notion of a lack of skilled labor has been questioned, many recruiting managers believe that a talent shortage exists.
If you're looking for engineers, sales managers, reps, administrative assistants, or accounting and finance employees, you've seen how difficult it is to find competent individuals.
According to a poll, these positions are among India's top ten most difficult to fill.
As a result, hiring managers are faced with some difficult questions. What impact will a long-term vacancy have on the company? Is it possible to give more in terms of remuneration and benefits? Should I recruit an inexperienced employee with potential?
The answer to the last question should be an obvious one, but it isn't.
- Why is experience overrated?
- Pros and Cons of hiring experienced candidates
- Pros of hiring experienced candidates
- Cons of hiring experienced candidates
- Reasons to hire potential over experience
- What is the best-recruiting strategy for finding the best candidates?
- Key Takeaways
Why is experience overrated?
Recruiters and hiring managers are scouring the globe for the "ideal candidate" with just the right amount of experience for their position. The person who has been through the same work will naturally have the upper hand over the others. Direct experience has always been the highlight; candidates with the most experience almost always receive the job. Work experience, on the other hand, isn't always a reliable predictor of future success. After all, not all knowledge is useful. Simply put, it signifies you were present at the time.
Not the engines of productivity but the agents of creation. Is this realization, however, reflected in our employment practices? Unfortunately, no. We still employ predictability rather than uncertainty for consistency rather than variation, and in this sense, we mistakenly continue to emphasize productivity above creativity, often to our detriment. In this article, I argue that, by design, a radical shift in our hiring and nurturing strategy is essential to create more anti-fragile and relevant businesses.
Most managers, not just HR specialists, fall into one of three mental traps. First, they continue to place a premium on relevant experience; second, they intuitively associate an experience with knowledge; and third, they place an excessive premium on expertise in an increasingly hostile environment. The solution is to intentionally seek out irrelevant work experience, develop a culture that tolerates and even welcomes deviants, and promote polymaths rather than generalists or specialists.
What motivates us to look for relevant work experience? It largely reduces the incoming talent's learning period or time-to-productivity. This worker will not squander the company's valuable resources learning and instead be productive from the start, or as they say, 'strike the ground running.'
While we demand no deviations or errors made on the job, we are also reducing the number of errors, uncertainties, and irregularities that could lead to novel problem-solving approaches or outright radical inventions. You're drastically limiting the upside by reducing the downside while hiring someone with the right work experience, which might be dangerous, especially as scenarios diverge.
The idea that someone who has seen and experienced something is best qualified to take on a problem could be disastrous. Years of working on a defined set of problems in a safe environment with a self-selection of problems to work on may result in the development of context-specific expertise. This very restricted skill can be much worse than useless in a drastically different setting. Consider how bad Test match players are in professional T20 leagues and vice versa. Alternatively, on the big screen, the predicament of theatre artists. Years of experience in one field may provide competence, but not variety, and the world of business is always changing.
Credentials do not determine success. For all we know, multiple years of employment with the same organization could indicate that the employee had a poor first year and then repeated it 20 times. It doesn't mean you did anything well just because you did it for a prolonged period.
The art of recognizing natural "achievers" with a proven track record of superior performance in a range of complicated scenarios, regardless of their experience, is critical to making great recruits. In place of "tenure patterns," look for "achiever patterns." Always hire for attitude since intelligent people can learn, adapt, and achieve in any situation.
Hundreds of highly successful businesses have been created and run by unskilled CEOs. Bill Gates was 21 years old when he created Microsoft. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak also did the same with Apple.
Almost every significant Internet company was created and is controlled by young, inexperienced entrepreneurs in many situations. Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook as a teenager. When Larry and Sergey founded Google, they were both in their twenties; Richard Branson created Virgin Group when he was just 22; the list goes on and on.
In the end, this means that brilliant people with inexperience may have the same chance of succeeding in their careers as those with more. As a result, utilizing experience as a recruiting and promotion criterion could be a huge mistake in some, if not most, circumstances.
Pros and Cons of hiring experienced candidates
Choosing between hiring inexperienced or experienced staff is similar to buying a pre-configured computer with pre-installed technologies and software versus buying a brand new computer that you will create from the ground up. The already configured PC (a knowledgeable employee) has everything you need, but extra software must be altered or deleted. Meanwhile, a custom-designed computer (a fresher employee) is like a "blank slate" that requires time and work to configure and create what you require.
One of the many advantages of hiring experienced workers is that you won't have to start from scratch. An experienced and dependable expert may strike the ground running with little or no training. They effectively address skills gaps in your organization, and they frequently bring great communication and leadership abilities to the table.
Choosing to acquire and train new people who have no prior expertise in your field might benefit your company in alternative ways. Since they lack information about the industry's best practices, they may be more willing to learn new processes than their more seasoned peers and may have fresh insights into handling problems or processes.
Here are some pros and cons related to the same.
Pros of hiring experienced candidates
The job is known to an experienced employee. An experienced employee has dealt with most of the annoyances and obstacles that come with the job profile and has developed a variety of tactics for dealing with the same as it might cause an interruption in the workflow throughout employment. An experienced person would know how to use the tools or software required to complete the activity correctly. Because experienced employees have a career to maintain, they recognize the value of the job at hand. A seasoned employee is also effective at handling pressure at work, based on previous experiences. So, to sum up:
- They know all about their strengths and where to apply them.
- They require negligible management if their attitude is fine.
- Their communication skills in the field and overall have been fine-tuned.
- They are better than others at reading through the lines and understanding the bigger picture.
Cons of hiring experienced candidates
The majority of experienced staff are tough to manage, stiff, and have a systematic approach to problem-solving. Experienced staff expects high compensation, which can be costly to the organization. Because they trust the good old techniques that have always provided desired outcomes, experienced personnel may be resistant to learning new ways to get the job done. So briefing the above points:
- You have to spend big if you want to hire an experienced professional.
- They are less flexible to change and more entrenched in their ways.
- If you try to push someone outside of their comfort zone, they may become overwhelmed.
- They find it challenging to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.
Reasons to hire potential over experience
Inexperience combined with potential brings a new perspective: a fresh take on an old problem, a unique solution to existing workflows, or a forward-thinking approach to present processes. Hiring a person who hasn't formed "poor" habits can allow them to be molded into a desirable culture and work pattern without having to break unpleasant practices. Inexperienced employees with and more potential are usually eager to establish their worth and impress, which motivates them to work hard in order to earn trust and respect.
With inexperienced personnel, a lengthy onboarding procedure may be required to bring them up to speed on all processes, resulting in a slowing down in productivity output. Employees who lack firsthand knowledge of potential problems may buckle under pressure that more experienced experts can readily bear.
Understanding and acknowledging the job requirements is critical in determining which type of professional would be the best fit:
- A free-thinking individual with high potential who can be molded to fit into any culture and brings new, innovative ideas to the team but may require additional training and time or;
- An individual who can jump right into the role and provide value right away and bring real-life lessons to the table; but might be unwilling to adapt to new ways of doing business. There is no right or wrong answer; rather, there is a better match for the opening.
- The Potential Talent Pool will expand: You quickly expand your talent pool when you look for people that have the potential to be high achievers at your organization rather than those who have direct experience.
By excluding applicants that don't meet the requirements, you risk limiting your candidate pool and missing out on a great match. Suppose you're looking for an engineering position that requires two years of experience but the prospect just has a year on their resume. In that case, you should inquire about their motives because they might be enthusiastic about the firm. Candidates with a positive attitude and a strong work ethic should be hired. These qualities are essential for a successful hire.
- Allows the focus to stay on the performance
You may analyze a candidate's attitude, adaptability to settle into an already established team, and to what extent they perform or operate under pressure if you hire for potential rather than experience. You may overlook critical performance indicators if you emphasize how a candidate's experience matches the post.
You may have a candidate with a lot of sales experience, but you will have to make sure they love what they do and are interested in working for your firm. One of the benefits of hirin an inexperienced candidate is that they are generally easier to manage because they have a new viewpoint. It's critical to hire people that can be coached because you'll be able to improve their overall performance and output.
- Enables to seek out potential cultural fit
Hiring for cultural fit is something to do with finding people who are a good fit for your management style and whose behavior and views align with the company's values. You'll be able to give more time and focus on cultural fit if you focus less on direct experience. Will the individual be a good fit for the company's environment?
Will they exhibit behaviors that are compatible with the present system? Cultural fit is critical since it impacts an employee's productivity and quality of work. You'll understand the individual better and whether or not they're likely to thrive at your organization by assessing potential.
What is the best-recruiting strategy for finding the best candidates?
A recruiting strategy is a well-thought-out plan of action that outlines a company's efforts to identify, select, and hire quality applicants. The goal is to create a pool of candidates who can fill vacant positions in enterprises.
However, recruitment strategies don't have to be limited to within the confines of a corporation.
Due to various criteria such as industry, corporate culture, work location, and recruiting teams, every organization recruits people differently. The hiring process varies depending on the open position, the time of year, and the urgency of the position.
Recruiting techniques can extend beyond the usage of current personnel. Instead, they may fall under the purview of a staffing firm, consultant, or agent.
These organizations can handle the full employment process for companies of all sizes.
Here are some of the most important things to be looked at while hiring:
- What is the adaptability of the candidate?
Because change is the one constant in most organizational systems right now, you want someone who can adapt quickly to changes in the workplace. Can the candidate provide examples of how they could have improved their work ethic in their previous job? When the economy's winds swirl, adaptability, or the ability to take on new roles and think in new ways, is crucial.
- Can they spot patterns in seemingly unrelated data?
Every work environment is flooded with tons of data and information. Can the candidate spot patterns and detect significant trends in data, workflows, and organizational crises? Employees in traditional work situations need to respond quickly, but changing market conditions necessitate the ability to "see" and express what's going on in the market synthetically. From logistics to the sales manager to IT security, this capacity to recognize patterns in huge swathes of information and data should be something you hire for.
- Pay attention to their body language
In arm motions, gestures, handshakes, and eye contact look for information about the applicant. The candidate's body language might reveal their feelings, their type of person, and how enthusiastic they are about the job. In arm movements and other motions, look for information about the applicant. The candidate's body language might reveal their feelings, their type of person, and how enthusiastic they are about the job.
- Look at their attitude and work ethic
Keep an eye out for any language that suggests the prospect has previously had problems dealing with coworkers or management. Also, please inquire about the candidate's organizational skills and how they deal with large workloads and fluctuating priorities.
- Give thought to the kind of questions they ask
All exceptional candidates should have inquiries about the position, the organization, and the culture. Are the questions thought-provoking? Do they show signs of how excited they are about the part? You may learn a lot about their degree of curiosity, how they diagnose problems, and how they process data, among other things.
Also, it is important to note that we aren't any more in a period where finding talent is straightforward. The days of posting a job, looking through applications, and making a hasty hiring decision are long gone.
You can't recruit the best individuals by chance anymore. To get it, you will have to put out some work. Also, be conscientious. Given the changing market conditions, now is the time to step up your recruitment strategy. After all, finding employees isn't easy.
In an era where everyone wants to recruit the top people for their professions, the HR field is more competitive than ever.
There is also a problem with the existing loopholes. The current hiring process may require a thorough examination to identify flaws that could make it difficult to fill certain positions. Between interview rounds, there could be a longer wait than usual. Or the candidates are not given the correct information. These minor flaws add together to make the job hiring process far less efficient than it should be. So, by overhauling your hiring process, you can bypass hiring bottlenecks and speed up your hiring process.
Once you've removed friction from your current recruitment procedure, it's time for a revival. Make a strategic hiring plan that is centered on your hiring objectives. There are various factors to consider when finalizing a recruitment strategy, from the correct job aggregating websites and active talent funnels to the tools that make recruitment faster and easier.
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When it comes to hiring, experience is important, but the type of experience that makes a candidate the best pick isn't always straightforward.
A person may not have prior experience in a role. Still, their past perspective as a client, vendor, or other constituents may already speak your language, understand your gaps, or have a valuable perspective on what works and what doesn't.
According to a Boston Consulting Group survey, 56% of executives expect "major gaps" in their ability to fill senior management positions in the next years.
Unlike the traditional hiring approach, choosing potential over experience helps your business overcome modern hiring hurdles. In return, it builds you a workforce that isn't just in sync with your current requirements but is able to scale and adapt to achieve your future goals well.
Only 11% of new hire failures are due to technical incompetence; of those who don't last, 89 percent lose their jobs due to their attitude or personality, such as lack of coachability, poor emotional intelligence, and bad temperament. In comparison, only 46% fail due to technical incompetence.
The bottom line is that potential would always benefit you more than experience in any field in the long run. Often teaching skills is easy, but instilling culture and traits to match wavelengths in a workplace takes away most of the work environment's peace, thus affecting productivity and enthusiasm.