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 the applicant's experience. Obviously, someone with 10 years of experience is better than someone with two years, right? Not so quick.
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?
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.
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.
And if you call to speak to any of their past employers, be sure to inquire about their work ethic, attitude, and energy level.
After conducting 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. Experience is something that can easily be gained if they have these other attributes.
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 alone and, a year later, realizing they are still lacking all the other incredibly important traits.