When looking to bring in new talent, many Hiring Managers seek out candidates who will come into the position with enough relevant experience that they can be effective and productive from the get-go. In fact, if you do a quick review of vacancies on various job boards, you’ll find “experience necessary” or “experience preferred” included in many of the postings. It would seem that any job, other than an entry level, would require some level of experience.
But is hiring someone with 3-5 or more years’ experience always the best strategy? In my opinion; I don’t think so. Here’s why hiring a “newbie” might be the better option:
With experience comes strong opinions and preferences. And while having opinionated, vocal employees is generally a good thing for representing a diversity of ideas and viewpoints, in some cases it is better not to. A “newbie” can bring a fresh set of eyes to many problems they encounter. Rather than say, “This is not how I’ve done it before,” a “newbie” will be able to offer a wholly unique way of tackling a project rather than the experienced, set-in-their-ways veteran.
An experienced staffer may take umbrage at your critique of their “tried-and-true” ways. They may not be willing to bend on certain methods which they know have worked before, especially if you are suggesting a change. A “newbie”, on the other hand, can better handle recommendations, advice, and directions because they know such input is only intended to help, not hurt. A “newbie” who is receptive to your input will, in due time, be able to provide the same helpful guidance to a future “newbie”.
Experienced employees often come from previous jobs with naughty habits that are counterproductive and sometimes against your own company policy. Some examples might be ducking out 10 minutes early on a Friday, or making personal calls from their desk, and worse. A “newbie” can be coached to avoid falling into bad habits; they can even be expected to develop good habits if instilled in them from the start.
When hiring a “newbie” you are looking for:
No one wants to spend months training skills that can be acquired in a relatively short amount of time. A “newbie” who acquires knowledge and can retain the information and skills without error is one worth keeping. If you can train and they become productive in a short time frame, you have saved money in the process!
Sometimes, as Human Resources Management goes, it is possible to “grow” your team by getting rid of the bad seeds (“addition by subtraction”). On the flip side, when making a new hire, the best additions are ones that fit organically within the company ecosystem. When a “newbie” meshes well with others, their status as being “new” becomes secondary.
A “newbie” that demonstrates an interest in the job, by engaging positively with coworkers, and by expressing enthusiasm for the tasks at hand, is someone who will be a pleasure to work with.
A “newbie” is frequently less expensive than a more experienced employee. If you feel that he or she is trainable, coachable and has the intrinsic abilities and skills necessary to be effective in the position, you might want to forgo the experience and develop a “newbie” into a trusted and effective employee. This also sends a positive message to the current staff.
For further discussion or comments, please contact Gail L. Trugman Nikol, President Unique Business Solutions, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 935-5641.