working in grassroots since 1776

Is Experience the Most Important Quality for a Potential Job Candidate?

A question that regularly plagues business owners and human resources managers is who they hire for senior positions in a fast-growing company. This is obviously a good problem to have, though these decisions on who to hire can be critical to the future success of a company. These senior level hires can either further a booming company’s profits and help it move to the next level or it can cause problems within the ranks and slow everything down. So this is a decision that needs to be taken seriously.

When deciding between hiring for experience or functionality, the first thing to take into account is where you want these new hires to help lead the company. Where does the company need to go next? Senior level hires with a lot of experience are great because you know they have learned the world they will be working in from the inside out. You also have evidence that they have successfully worked their way up in their field. This usually means they know how to deal with pressure and have been a manager and boss of employees at low to middle management levels. However, senior level hires with a lot of experience have other pitfalls. These range from ego and wanting to always be in control, the mindset that they know how to do the job better than anyone else. This confidence can be very helpful but also very problematic from a morale or productivity standpoint. Senior level hires with a lot of experience can also be a little burnt out on doing the same job again, which is something that will probably have to be vetted out in the interview process, if that’s possible. In other words, look to hire for experience when you are trying to impress investors in a company or you are making a foray into relatively uncharted business territory and you need experienced leaders.

When hiring for functionality, it may make more sense to hire someone who doesn’t have a ton of experience at the senior level but really knows how to get the job done. This promotion and new amount of responsibility can inspire them to push even harder and make your business even more functional than ever before. Of course, this added responsibility and pressure can be too much for some people, as they are better at being functional, rather than leading employees and thinking many months down the line. In short, hiring for functionality is key when your business just needs to get the job done quicker and better than it has in the past so it can really make a profit.

At the end of the day, it’s all about where you want these hires to lead the company in the future, so the better you understand that, the better of a decision you can make when hiring.  

To make the most informed hiring decisions, be sure to utilize applicant tracking software throughout the recruitment process.


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