The Truth About Inexperience
When running a business, the conventional wisdom is to stick with hiring people with years of experience, but the truth is that inexperienced candidates can be a great choice too. Inexperienced candidates can be someone who is still in school, an intern, or a recent grad lacking the typical 3-5 years of experience. The conventional wisdom of hiring experience is understandable: you want to minimize risk. Like David mentioned in Donâ€™t Be Afraid to Pull the Trigger, if thereâ€™s a perfect hire, you shouldnâ€™t hesitate, but perfect candidates donâ€™t exist â€“ there will always be a risk involved with hiring, no matter who it is.
The â€œperfectâ€ candidate can actually be someone without much experience, but with loads of potential. Young people are often eager to learn, adapt, but most importantly, brimming with fresh ideas. Experienced candidates are experienced because theyâ€™ve been trained and used to a certain way of thinking, which can be handy in certain situations.
When you opt for experience, sometimes itâ€™s about peace of mind. If you accept that no hire is without risk, and there is no such thing as a perfect candidate, then youâ€™re opting for the safest option. Opting for experience is not a bad thing by any means, and for more senior positions, itâ€™s prudent, but to exclusively hire people with experience means the same pool of candidates from similar companies with similar ideas â€“ it becomes stale and stagnant.
Experience is never a sign of what they can potentially deliver, but a sign of planning for the worst; both an experienced and an inexperienced candidate can blow your socks off with what they can do, but the experienced candidate offers you a better â€œworst case scenario,â€ so if you were to grade their work on a 1-100 scale, experienced candidatesâ€™ work ranges from 40-100, whereas an inexperienced candidate can give you anything from 0-100. The peace of mind that experience gives you isnâ€™t without merit, but you might be setting the bar a bit low, focusing on minimizing the risk of failure instead of the potential success.
Sometimes, you can have your cake and eat it too: offer someone an internship so thereâ€™s no risk to your business, all while giving them a chance to prove themselves. If it goes well, they get a job and you get a good addition to your company; if not, they get internship experience and youâ€™ve avoided paying someone for shoddy work.
At the end of the day, you can do your due diligence with hiring and interviewing, but youâ€™ll always have to take a chance on someone. If youâ€™re going to take a chance on someone, why not take a chance on someone whoâ€™s young and inexperienced and oozing with potential? Who knows, you might end up with a loyal employee with fresh ideas who will grow within your company!
Jack Lo is a Toronto based content writer and contributes to Verus as our Content Development Specialist. You can find more of him at his blog at jacksinnermonoblog.wordpress.