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Recruiting Experience over Talent – which is better?

For most vacant job posts a candidate must have a certain level of experience or a number of capabilities that can only be gained through years of practical experience. However, when faced with a candidate that possesses an incredible amount of raw talent and natural ability, which wins out in the end? Experience or talent?

You would be surprised at how often this occurs when interviewing people for a role. It can sometimes leave an employer with a bit of a conundrum. Do they choose experience over talent, or the other way around, and how do they justify their choice to their work colleagues.

There is no definitive answer to this problem, but whichever choice you make can have a huge impact on the company, especially if the new person has to fit in with an established team.

Would your existing team members be resentful of a new recruit who may be fresh out of college or university and have little to no work experience under their belt, but be put straight into a more senior role?

Would someone with more experience be better accepted and given more respect? Would their experience mean them fitting in more seamlessly and causing less disruption?

Before making that decision, there are few positives and negatives to consider with each hiring choice. Lets look at these now:

The benefits of hiring an experienced candidate

They have specialized working knowledge

One thing that an experienced candidate will have is an in-depth working knowledge of role as well as familiarity with the tools, software and equipment used to perform their necessary tasks. In most cases specialist knowledge can only come with practical experience.

They are ready for leadership

A seasoned professional may already have some management experience under their belt from a previous role. They may also be in a position where they are ready and able to take on more responsibility than was offered to them previously. An experienced candidate may be looking for a new role with some career progression, so if this is something you can offer, then you may well be taking on a very smart team leader who will grateful for the opportunity and will become very loyal to your company.

You will also have to recognise that your existing team members will expect nothing less from a new leader.

They have a strong track record

The one thing that an experienced candidate has over a recent graduate is that their track record can be confirmed. You can check back to see their actual achievements and how dedicated and hard working they were in their previous roles. This is something that is real and measurable. This can count as something tangible to put forward should the hiring decision be made by a number of work peers rather than by yourself alone.

Familiarity with the environment

Hiring someone who is already familiar with the working environment is going to be able to settle in much quicker than someone who is still finding their feet. The new hire will require much less guidance or assistance from others to navigate their way around.

The benefits of hiring new talent

Willing to try something new

Because a talented graduate is new to the industry, they will be more willing to try a different approach to something rather than a tried and tested one. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Unless you adapt and change how can you ever hope to improve your working systems or processes. Being a fresh graduate, they may have new industry insights and be aware of new innovations that could save the company a lot of time and money.

They will be eager to prove themselves

Fresh and new job candidates understand that you have placed a lot of faith into them, so they will want to thank you for the opportunity offered to them by working hard to prove their worth. They may be in a position where they don’t yet have family commitments that would place a demand on their time, so will most likely be willing to start work early or finish work late to get projects completed on time.

They are very switched on

Someone that possesses bags of natural talent will have the right aptitude for this role. The way they thing about things will be very in-tune with the job in hand. This is why they would be able to do the job with greater ease than someone who has had to put in years of extra learning and adapting to truly ‘get’ the role and understand it.

At the end of the day, whichever candidate you choose for the job will be a good fit because each of them have the individual merits needed to succeed. If you really are torn between the two, it may come down to a simple choice of personality in the end. Which candidate do you like the best and could see your team getting on well with.