Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Most Classic Hiring Mistake

Before jumping to any conclusions on the statement about to be made, hear me out. The most common hiring mistake is to hire someone who has the right experience. Crazy, right?

(This is from the book How to Hire and Develop Your Next Top Performer, 2nd edition: The Qualities That Make Salespeople Great, @2012, McGraw-Hill Professional; reprinted with permission of the publisher. )

When you’re putting together a help-wanted ad, what’s the first thing you write?
“NEEDED, candidate with five-years experience.”

Experience always seems to out-weigh the opposite when hiring candidates. If one candidate has a seemingly less amount of experience under their belt, the more experienced candidate would likely beat them out for a position. It is expected that the more experienced candidate will surely hit the ground running and keep the flow of their work going almost ASAP.

But how many times have you come across someone who has five-years of experience that adds up to just one year’s bad experience repeated five times?

Don’t fall into the trap of relying too heavily on experience. It is an easy approach, but it can be very costly. Don't go and steal from your competitors, as they may in all actuality be given a favor in doing this. Let your competitors steal from each other. Instead of focusing on what someone has done, look, instead, to what they can do — to their potential.

Mark Dennis, vice president of sales and marketing at Veolia Environmental Services, put it succinctly: “I have finally come to the point where I could care less whether somebody has industry experience. I’ve had way too many instances of hiring people who have industry experience who just get in their own way because they are set in their ways. They believe they know it all. And they are not open, willing, or flexible enough to want to change, to look at the industry from our perspective. So training them can become an absolute nightmare.”

Experience, often can keep you where you are rather than helping you to advance and see new possibilities. Would've thought as much, right? Sounds as though someone needs to inform whomever posts positions on job boards to forgo the "experience" portion.

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