Career Advice

Hiring The Candidate with Little Experience

By: Daniel Robertshaw
Jul 6, 2021 • 6 min read

Why you Should Hire The Candidate with Little Experience

So, you’re in the process of hiring a new employee. There are many considerations you have to make to hire the perfect employee for your company. Do they fit the company culture? Do they have the educational background required? Will they can accomplish the job requirements? And the biggest question of all. Do they have the necessary experience? But that’s the thing. Does an employee really need to have the industry experience to be successful in a position?

Most companies seem to think the answer to this question is ‘Yes.’ Studies say that most jobs require some sort of previous experience, even for entry-level positions! This study from Florida State University discovered from 115 job ads, 82% either required or stated a strong preference for the experience.

So, most companies are requiring candidates to have previous experience to even be considered for a position. But is that really the best way to look for the best candidate? What are you missing out on by not considering an entire group of people? This guide details why you should hire a candidate with little to no experience and what you may be missing out on by ignoring them.

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Don’t miss out on potential!

Blindly passing on a candidate with no experience means that you’re passing on the possibility of potential. At one point, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had no experience and needed a company to take the risk by hiring them. Having a hiring policy that only focuses on bringing in experienced workers means that you could possibly be missing out on the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

Potential is an important characteristic to consider when hiring an employee for a role. For your company to thrive in the long run, you’ll need to bring in younger, less experienced employees to carry your company forward. When the older, higher-up employees in your company start to retire, it’s good to promote the next generation that have grown with your company and know the ins and outs. Hiring a younger, less experienced employee is investing in your company in the long run.

Experience doesn’t mean better performance

A candidate with bags of experience in your desired industry doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be perfect for the role. Just because a certain candidate achieves something at another company doesn’t necessarily mean that will translate to your company. Years of experience in an industry doesn’t mean they have personally grown or learned much. This experience could have been years of doing the minimum amount of work and just going through the motions. Years of experience could also lead to complacency with the position. After doing everything there is to do, they may become bored and not motivated. This is the opposite for a candidate with little to no experience, who will be fresh and looking to impress.

This study from Florida State University found that there was no significant correlation between a new employee’s work experience and their job performance. Professor Van Iddekinge said of his findings, “we discovered a very weak relationship between prehire experience and performance, both in training and on the job. We also found zero correlation between work experience with earlier employers and retention, or the likelihood that a person would stick with his or her new organization.”

They can bring a new perspective 

You can’t go forward as a company if you don’t continue to have fresh, new ideas that keep you ahead of the competition. What better way to inject fresh ideas into your company than to hire someone with no experience in your industry? You’ll be bringing an outside perspective to tackle issues that are in your company. If your company is stagnant and drudging through work, hiring a fresh employee with little to no industry experience can shake things up in your workforce. An influx of new, outside ideas can motivate a company and bring new light to their work.

This article from Harvard Business Review details just how important it is to bring in new ideas to your company by referencing a time a breakthrough surgical infection prevention was discovered by a theatrical makeup- specialist. It just goes to show you, new perspectives can really innovate a company!

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Grow them to your company

When you hire a candidate with little to no industry experience, you gain the ability to grow that person to perfectly fit the mold of your company culture and job requirements. A candidate with no previous experience hasn’t been told by other companies or other jobs how to do specific things. They have no preconceived notions on how things should be done.

Because of their lack of experience, your company gains the great opportunity to mold them into your perfect employee. Think of them as a blank canvas. You can paint the exact painting you want, instead of having to paint over previous work. Focusing on developing new employees could eventually lead to in-house promotions. Here, homegrown talent will take on leadership roles within your company. Hiring employees with little to no experience is investing in your company.

Attitude can’t be taught

It’s not uncommon for an employer to find an employee that fits all their technical requirements but just doesn’t have the personality or work ethic to work for you. Personality and work ethic are two traits that just cannot be taught or are incredibly difficult to instill in. In this study by Leadership IQ, it was discovered that 46% of newly hired employees fail within the first 18 months. Of those employees, 89%  fail because of a bad attitude, whereas only 11% fail due to technical requirements.

Technical skills can be taught. You can teach a new hire how to create a database or how to write according to the company brand. What can’t be taught is a good work ethic and a personality that drives you to succeed. And as seen by the previous study, it’s a lack of work ethic that causes most new hires to fail.

A good personality and hard work ethic are important characteristics that can’t be taught. Don’t pass up on a new employee that fits your company culture and has a great work ethic just because they lack industry experience.

They will be adaptable

It makes sense that an employee with little to no experience would be more willing to be adaptable when compared to someone with multiple years’ experience. It’s likely that the employee with many years’ experience could be set in their own way of doing things after doing them for so long. They’ll have developed their own habits and processes that may not align with the way your company does things. It could be tough to break them out of these habits. On the other hand, an employee with little to no experience has no previous habits.

This study by OrganizationScience talks about the negative relationship between prior experience and job performance, we recommend you give it a read!

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They will bring passion

Any recent college graduate knows the feeling of the struggle to find a job after college. A lot of the time, it can be disheartening to spend such a long time filling out an application and not hear anything back. It’s such a relief when you finally get the offer that you have been wanting. When a company takes a chance on someone with little to no experience, they gain their loyalty and passion.

You’ll have given them the opportunity to work in a new industry and their first major break in the job market. Because of this, they’ll feel passionate about working for your company and eager to learn and please. This is something you don’t get from hiring those with plenty of experience.

College hires will understand all the new technology

This last reason applies to only college graduates (who will have little to no experience). But, is a major selling point to hire them. Recent college graduates will have just spent anywhere from 2-8 of their last years studying and preparing for their first job. Because of this, they’ll be up to date on all the latest technology and methodologies.

Take a chance on unexpected applicants!

Hiring a candidate with little to no experience could be a great idea for your company. At the very least, it’s best to give these candidates a chance to show why they fit into your company. With a little experience candidate, you’ll get the following characteristics that you may not get with someone with years of experience:

  1. Potential for in-house promotions
  2. A new perspective
  3. A blank canvas for your company to mold
  4. A great work ethic and eagerness
  5. Easily able to adapt to your company processes
  6. Passion and loyalty

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hire someone with years of experience. There are many positives to hiring employees with tons of industry experience.

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