Hiring inexperienced vs experienced workers: What to expect

Understanding the potential benefits and drawbacks of hiring experienced and inexperienced workers can help your company find the right candidate for every position.

When the time comes to recruit and onboard new staff, there's a major consideration to be made: What level of experience is necessary for the role?

"When considering your next hire, it is important to look at your department as a whole," says Patricia Breen Geibel, Business Development Manager for Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Pittsburgh. "If your team is more experienced and you have many senior employees, a candidate with no experience, but a good attitude and potential, could be ideal if you have team members interested in mentorship. In turn, if your team is less experienced and trying to gain momentum, hiring an industry veteran could be ideal to take your team to the next level. If you're considering someone with experience, be sure to look at his/her longevity at previous companies and reason for looking to avoid hiring a candidate who jumps around often."

There are benefits and drawbacks that come with hiring both fresh faces in the workforce and experienced workers. Let's look at some of the key considerations involved.

Experienced workers: advantages and disadvantages

Employees with past experience in a relevant industry offer some immediate benefits. They generally have some level of understanding of what your organization does, and may have a variety of relevant, applicable skills that allow them to start contributing faster than a new employee who needs in-depth training. Even a new hire with experience in another field can bring developed soft skills, such as problem solving, meeting the expectations of a professional workplace and working together in groups.

Longevity doesn't automatically make a new staff member more qualified in the long run. Experience does not always equal talent, as Quartz at Work pointed out. Just because a potential recruit has a work history that's relevant to your organization doesn't automatically mean they are particularly skilled or capable. Experienced employees may also have engrained habits - which may have served them well in other roles - that are hard to break. This can make it more difficult to fully adapt to a new environment, even as relevant skills allow them to start completing some tasks quickly.

A job interview, with the hiring manager in the foreground.

Inexperienced workers: advantages and disadvantages

Potential hires without much - or any - experience in the working world offer more of a blank slate than fellow candidates with longer work histories. It can be easier to train them on specific tasks and workflows, as they don't have as much past experience to draw on. Additionally, they are more likely to have more recent and relevant information provided to them during their education. Digitalist pointed out that less-experienced employees can be especially valuable when their responsibilities include innovative work, and when time is of the essence.

Inexperienced workers also bring some drawbacks to the table. If they're fresh out of college or haven't worked in a professional setting before, it can take time to adjust to accepted modes of conduct. Similarly, it can take some time to develop a sense of comfort and belonging - something many successful experienced workers have already developed. Training is another important consideration, although it's more of a short-term issue than a long-term one. Inexperienced employees will need some time to get up to speed with their specific duties, although this isn't an issue for competent workers, whether they're fresh out of college or have many years of experience, as time goes on.

To learn more about effectively recruiting both experienced and inexperienced workers, get in touch with an expert consultant at Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.

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