Posted on Feb 15, 2013 @[email protected]

Is Experience Necessary?

 By Robert Boroff  Google +

Record numbers of people are searching for jobs right now and employers are only beginning to start hiring.  This shift in dynamics has led to some changes in the recruitment processes and has left many experts wondering if past experience really matters anymore.

Tom Szaky is the Chief Executive of TerraCycle claims that he prefers to hire people with less experience for a number of reasons.  He claims that people just out of college, or with only a few years of experience are less set in their ways and are more likely to contribute creative and high energy ideas.  This is not to say that there aren’t some skills which are ultimately required of many positions, it’s just that often workers don’t need as much experience as was previously thought to possess them.  Szaky is not alone in his opinions many of the clients our recruiters work with care more about hiring high energy candidates than individuals with a lot of experience.  You’ll also often be able to hire less experienced workers at a lower wage and may be able to hold on to them for a longer period of time making them a more meaningful hire.

Other individuals such as John Hollon of TLNTclaim that experience really does matter when making a meaningful hire.  Hollon claims that without relevant experience your new hire is likely to flounder in their new position and take more time to adjust to the job.  Often companies don’t have a lot of time to wait for somebody to start performing at their top potential.  It’s really either sink or swim straight from the beginning.  He compares entering a job without relevant experience to trying to learn Russian in one weekend, it simply doesn’t work well.  This seems relatively common sense, if you need somebody to correctly manage your company’s finances you will be most likely to have success if you hire somebody who has managed a company’s finances before.  At the same time it seems like a good employee should be able to quickly adapt to company policies and it is necessary for every employee to go through some amount of training.  So is the answer to my earlier question, it depends on the position?

In a post from Leadership Turn it was argued that it matters more if a potential employee fits in with the company culture than having directly related work experience. It is argued that if you wait for exact experience you are likely to miss out on many other qualified candidates.  It is important to remember that a good employee is able to learn fairly quickly and you may be able to hire them at a lower salary.  According to the article it is smarter to hire based upon mindset, attitude and philosophy then look at talent, then at skill ands then lastly at experience.  Their answer to my question seems to be, experience matters but make it a less important factor than it typically is.

What do you think? What characteristics do you hire based upon?

Robert Boroff Executive Profile Managing Director Reaction Search International

•       Uses over 17 years of industry experience to provide clients with proven recruiting strategies that garner results

•       Leads a team of Executive Recruiters in fulfilling clients important hiring needs in a time and cost-effective manner

•       Keeps abreast of business and market trends in order to effectively consult clients on their hiring requirements

•       Skilled at using traditional and contemporary recruiting practices

•       Experienced in recruiting for a dynamic mix of industries, including Banking,Biotechnology, Construction, Consumer Products, Finance, Food & Beverage,Healthcare, Human Resources, Information Technology,Insurance,Marketing, andMedical Device, Pharmaceutical, Retail,Sales,Telecommunications executive search & recruitment

•       Seasoned in running full-size searches on a national scale that require multiple hirings under time-sensitive schedules

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