What Not to Look for When Hiring: Experience!

In the market to hire someone? If you are like most others in business, you place a high priority on the amount of experience that an applicant has. Everyone looking for their next hire seems to look for the “best” employee, as defined by their experience. Obviously, someone with 10 years of experience is better than someone with two years, right? Not so quick, bucko!

What Counts
Realize this – the thing that you can give someone is experience. You can provide all the skills and experience that you want to. But there are other things that you cannot give them, which makes those things far more important than just having experience. What are those things? Glad you asked! The things you should be looking for in your next employee are:

Work ethic. A person’s work ethic is going to impact how they feel about their job, which in turn will impact how well they get it done. If they have a strong work ethic, they will be honest, accountable, and responsible. These are all things you want in an employee, or at least should want.

Attitude. Someone’s attitude is a big issue if you are bringing them in to work with you, or with a team of others. Attitude is how they convey their feelings, or disposition. The last thing you want is someone with a bad attitude who you are afraid to challenge.

Energy. How upbeat are they when they answer your questions? If it seems to take a lot out of them to respond, it will also take a lot out of them to muster up the energy to get the work done. And when it comes to energy, they can also have an impact on others they work around, for better or for worse.

Intelligence. Even if someone has a degree, that doesn’t guarantee that they are intelligent. Having intelligence means having the ability to learn or understand things. It also applies to how well they can adapt to new situations. You want someone intelligent, so they can grasp the essence of your business and do what needs to be done.

Values. This comes down to how well they promote what you consider important for your company. If you value good customer service and honesty, you want to make sure that your employees do, as well, as they will be the ones carrying out that mission.

So, when you are hiring someone, look beyond how much or how little experience someone has. Instead, ask questions that explore what they really bring to the table. Find out what they are like in terms of the important factors listed above. There are many other things you can do to also find out who they are, in this regard, such as conducting a background check, and investigating their use of social media.

And if you call to speak to any of their past employers, be sure to inquire about their work ethic, attitude, energy, etc.

Latching On
After doing this type of investigation into the person you are considering hiring, you will know if you have found the right person. Once you do find a match, hire them. Then you can focus on giving them the experience. But you will know that you have a solid match for who you want to have on your team. Experience is something that can easily be gained, if they have these other attributes.

Having qualities like a good work ethic and a positive attitude are far more important than work experience. After a year on the job, your new employee will not only have the great skills you are looking for in a team member, but will also have experience. That sure beats hiring someone based on experience and, a year later, they have another year of experience and an expensive habit of pilfering your ink cartridges for their home printer.


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