Forget Experience; Hire for Talent Instead

Forget Experience; Hire for Talent Instead
From Recruiter - July 16, 2017

Historically, recruiters have emphasized on-paper experience overraw talent, thinking that hires with proven previous success will take less time to get up to speed. However, as industries across the spectrum struggle with talent shortages today, just about every traditional approach to hiring is being questionedincluding the prioritization of experience.

Companies as diverse as Southwest Airlines and Zappos have adopted a credential-agnostic approachthat focuses less on the bullet points of a resume and more on a candidates attitude and aptitude.

If the big names are testing these nontraditional approaches out, it may be time for the rest of us to follow.

Bet on Potential Instead of Resting on Laurels

Its a foregone conclusion that someone with impressive experience has a lot of talent, right? What about the talented people who havent yet had opportunities to earn the same credentials or work at the same prestigious organizations? They have just as much potentialits just less obvious during the recruiting process.

Talent is built-in, while experience is earned. The formeris internal, while the latteris external. But the talent is ultimately the origin of the success.

For example, take sales professionals. Their personable, approachable personalities allow them to connect with clients, but their desires to chase and close deals are what produce high sales figures. Experience is the result, but talent is the accelerant.

Good salespeople can be trained to do anything, but if they dont enjoy being in the business of building relationships, they will lose a lot of leads. This illustrates why talent, more than experience, should be the central focus of the recruiting effort.

Looking for individuals who are passionate about the company and the position can alleviate many talent shortages. At the same time, this strategy helps relieve the headaches of onboarding and retention. The experience a new hire lacks quickly materializes once theyre in a role where they can thrive.

Spotting Talent When You See It

One size doesnt fit all in recruiting, and because talent comes in many shapes and sizes, finding the right fit requires aslightlydifferent approach for every enterprise. Worse still, the indicators of talent are not immediately apparent on a resume or during an interview.

Hiring on the basis of talent is a leap of faith, but it can pay off by producing loyal, driven new employees. Use these four strategies to find candidates with the right kind of talent:

1. Listen for the Right Answers

Professionals understand that potential employers see a lack of experience as a red flag. The most talented professionals, however, will find a way to address the issue openly and resolve it convincingly.


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