Let’s think If you were presented with two candidates for one position; one is an experienced and knowledgeable candidate while the other is less experienced but clearly talented from his/her previous roles. How do you choose?
Before we answer this, we need to ask ourselves. What is the difference between Raw Talent and Experience?
What is the difference?
Raw Talent is the ability to learn or acquire skills naturally and mastered quickly without much failure. Even without proper training or education, talented individuals can still perform up to the standard of experienced individuals though it may take some time.
Experience is typically knowledge you acquire from your work and hands-on lessons that will continue to expand and develop as you are exposed to new events.
How to Decide when to Hire for Raw Talent Over Experience and Vice Versa
There are generally two options to hire the right person. Though it is crucial you understand what kind of person you are looking in advance.
If you are unclear what you searching for, it is extremely difficult to find someone.
When you hire for Experience, it tends to be for a job where specialized knowledge is required. Experienced people come with skills and knowledge of relevant processes and procedures to accomplish the task. For example, Leadership, you will usually take someone with leadership experience over a talented person who has never led teams before.
When you hire for talent, it can be for a job that requires limited experience. Or where there is a well defined job structure, or for an internal move when knowledge of the company compensates for lack of job specific experience. In this case, a productive and talented person will offer great value; keen to learn and develop.
Managing the Risks
There are always risks involved when recruiting, you can never be certain what is the best approach to take.
One of the risks that comes with hiring an experienced person is their mindset. If they are extremely experienced in their field and have their own ‘successful’ method of tackling the job, but this doesn’t fit with the organization’s approach, then there could be disruption. If the person (or organisation) cannot, or will not adjust then this can create problems.
Alternatively, talented individuals who do not accept that they can continue to learn and develop new skills (think that they are already good enough) my stumble if they cannot adapt. However, on a general consensus, talented individuals have the capacity to accept new ideas and incorporate them into their repertoire much more readily.
Common Mistakes when Hiring
Job experience does not always equate with talent, you need to understand there can be a difference. The key to successful hires is to take notice of track records of excellence not just success. To notice what they really did and not just the impressive companies and titles they have accrued. Lastly, training and cultivating your employees is one of the most important aspects of introducing a new employee. Regardless of their talent or their experience, if you don’t train them in the way of your organization, the performance will always be lacking.
Take home message
Talent and experience can go hand in hand, each has their own advantages. It is up to the hiring manager to decide which one will benefit the organization more for that particular role. If he/she is unclear on who they want, you won’t find the right fit. Experience can mean a lot but it can also mean little. It is more important to pick out the excellence over the mediocre.