There are so many different things to look for in a prospective hire. A great candidate should be well rounded and able to check off multiple boxes. However, when you sit down and come up with a hiring strategy, you’ll find that you need to prioritize certain qualities over others. After all, different candidates will check different boxes, and understanding what you’re looking for and what you value the most in a prospective candidate is important. Here are some reasons why every hiring manager should prioritize candidate experience.
Experience connotes several things, including familiarity with business operations, established working habits, and time spent in the field. But experience also signifies a degree of specialized knowledge that exists on more than just paper. Candidates who come backed with experience bring with them specialized knowledge learned through process and procedure. Specialized knowledge on its own is great, but specialized knowledge that has been put to the test, and that can adhere to policies and corporate structure is much better, and is attainable through experience.
Commitment to the Field
Settling on a career trajectory can be really difficult, and many new job seekers haven’t had the chance to actually experience work within their field. At the beginning of your career, before you’ve had practical experience, you’re often still learning what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at. Candidates with experience have made the conscious choice to stay within a given field, and offer better security when it comes to a firm commitment to the job.
Candidates who come without experience require much more support and training when they begin working. They might be recent graduates, or they might have recently decided to switch fields, and while their lack of experience doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified, it also means that they will need much more guidance. Candidates who come with experience are much more likely to be able to hit the ground running. Of course, any new hire, regardless of experience level, will need some training, but prioritizing candidate experience can seriously minimize the amount of training needed to get them up to speed, saving you time, energy, and money in the process.
Adjusting to corporate culture is a huge part of a new employee’s integration into the work environment. The biggest reason behind new employee turnover is an inability to fit into the team. Candidates with experience know what it’s like to work with others, and understand how cooperation among coworkers is necessary for getting work done.
The Right Kind of Experience
For the reasons we’ve outlined above, it’s clear that choosing the candidate with the most experience is a priority when it comes to hiring. The candidate with experience is your best shot at a smooth transition into a productive work relationship. However, not all experience is alike. When looking for the right candidate, make sure they have the right kind of experience: a track record of success, strong references, and skills extending beyond natural abilities.
There are certain attributes you should look for in an experienced candidate, including creative initiative, motivation for the specific job role, and a shared sense of values that will make for a good cultural fit. While candidate experience should be a priority when it comes to hiring, it’s important to be discerning when it comes to what constitutes experience. Experience doesn’t always equate to talent, and while it’s the best indicator you have for making a good hiring decision, it’s important to take all factors into consideration.