Experience says it all – doesn’t it?

Struggling to find a capable candidate? One recruitment expert says experience isn’t everything.

Experience says it all – doesn’t it?
average, it requires four hours of face-to-face meetings to hire just one new employee – and that’s before you even take any background checks, skills testing and paperwork into account – but is the time and costs involved leading you to make bad decisions?

As time ticks on and costs mount up, it can become all too easy to take on an employee who isn’t necessarily the best fit for your company - particularly if they have years of experience. At least they’ll be competent, right? 

Wrong. Or at least that’s what recruitment expert Tony Beshara says. According to Beshara, too many employers place emphasis on experience rather than potential ability.

“Ten years of experience does not mean the candidate is right for the job if, for example, they’ve done the same job at several different companies,” explains Beshara. “When reviewing resumes, you must be careful to discern the difference between years of experience and actual competency.”

“Rather than looking at years, focus on actual job functions and find a candidate with solid experience, or someone who has the potential to do the job well,” advises Beshara.

Lou Adler, author of the Essential Guide for Hiring, agrees. “The best people are those who accomplish the most with the least amount of skills and experience,” he says.

Made a mistake?

Fix it as soon as possible, says Beshara. “Don’t give the new hire too much slack. When it becomes obvious that they are not right for the job, let them go.”

“Many times, it’s obvious in the first week that the candidate will not work out, and yet companies wait several months to do the firing, which is disruptive to business and undermines confidence in your ability to do your job. Your approach should be to hire carefully but fire quickly.”

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