Why the best candidate for a job might be the one with no experience in that role
Hiring the right individual for a position is a critical decision that impacts your team’s success—as well as that of your company. So, it’s not surprising that most hiring managers have an extensive list of must-haves for their ideal candidate.
However, sometimes the person who’s really going to make a difference in a job is someone who has no experience in that role. So why is this—and should you change your hiring practices accordingly?
The conventional hiring method
Overall, the conventional method of hiring involves determining what soft and hard skills are needed for a job and subsequently searching for a candidate who possesses sufficient industry experience to hit the ground running. Of course, there are always entry-level positions where the new hire doesn’t have much experience—but they do have a certain amount of relevant training that allows them to function well in a company.
For the most part, the conventional hiring method makes sense. It gives hiring managers the ability to truly look at the skills and qualities a candidate can bring to the job.
But it might also be excluding some very promising candidates.
Company-specific knowledge and soft skills
Here’s the thing: hard skills can be learned. Industry experience can be acquired. But things like soft skills and company-specific knowledge are a little harder to come by.
Let’s say an employee of one of your clients has interacted a lot with your team or department. You already know they’re great to work with and fit into the team—plus, they possess well-developed problem-solving skills and communication skills.
In addition, they have a considerable amount of knowledge about your organization, as well as your team’s objectives and way of working. All things considered, they’re a perfect fit for a position on your team.
They might have a steep learning curve in the beginning in order to acquire the necessary hard skills and learn the industry jargon, but in the long run, that person’s knowledge of your company is invaluable. And that’s something you’re not going to find in someone who has never worked with your organization before.
Should you change your hiring practices?
In all honesty, you probably shouldn’t change how you go about attracting and hiring talent in general. But as Forbes points out, it could definitely be worthwhile to expand your notion of the ideal candidate to include an amazing, well-rounded person who has never worked in that specific role before.