Written by Susan Reagan; HR Consultant – GA
Employees typically fall into one of two categories: experienced or inexperienced. To clarify, inexperienced should not directly correlate to “young”. Today’s workforce sees all types of career changes at different stages of life due to changes in personal situations, the decline of certain industries, and the birth of others, among other reasons.
So, you may be wondering what the advantages are of hiring “Green”, or inexperienced, employees are. Is it more beneficial for a company to hire someone with or without experience? Hiring an inexperienced employee may seem to be risky, but it can help a company grow in ways that would not be possible if you only hired very experienced employees for the long term.
Pro’s of Hiring “Green”
Are you looking to engage employees to change or adapt to current company culture? Inexperienced employees are typically open to training and are eager to adapt and follow the organization’s way of doing business.
The benefits of hiring the inexperienced employees are considerable. Typically, inexperienced employees are known to work harder to prove themselves, they’re eager to learn, you can generally pay them less in the beginning, and they can easily be trained to be the successful employee you need to get the job done. Depending on the skills needed for the position you’re hiring for, it can be a very good move to hire an inexperienced employee, and that person may have a bigger impact on your entire office than you thought possible.
With inexperience comes a fresh perspective: a new outlook on an old problem, or a forward thinking view on current processes. You may be overdue for the question “Why do we do it this way” after several years or complacency, that’s where Green can easily make the needle move on progress.
What Does Experience Bring?
Experienced candidates may come with a higher price tag but what they bring to the table may be worth it if the position requires. Experienced professionals have most likely encountered, and overcome, many common challenges in the workplace and learned many valuable lessons that inexperienced candidates are not familiar with. Hiring someone with working knowledge can help cut down on training and on-boarding costs due to their skill level, which can also allow for faster productivity. With inexperienced employees, a longer on-boarding process may be necessary in order to get them up to speed on all processes as you have to start from ground zero. With a lack of first-hand experience and lack of insight of potential problems, inexperienced employees may feel more initial pressure than a more seasoned employee can easily handle.
Still, there are possible downfalls that come with years of experience. After working in the same area for an extended period of time, many people can develop habits and office etiquette that can be difficult to alter. Experienced employees who feel they may “know it all” may develop resistance to authority and change, and may not be happy about adapting their ways as the workplace evolves, causing demotivation and a reduction in productivity.
Which Way Do I Lean?
Understanding the job requirements is important in determining what type of employee would be a best fit: A) a free-thinking individual who could be molded to fit into any culture that brings new, fresh ideas to the team but may possibly require additional training and time and poses more initial risk? Or (B) an employee who can jump right into the role and immediately start providing value and bring real-life lessons learned but may be more expensive to hire and possibly be resistant to adopting new ways of doing business?
Make sure you start your decision by having a vetted job description in place. If the qualifications and skill set needs determine that experience is not a priority – seek the candidate that fits your culture and whose potential aligns with your career progression opportunities. If your marketing of the position is accurate, you should attract a pool of candidates who are looking for new and fresh opportunities with room for growth. If you find that you need solid experience coming into the role, advertise and vet accordingly, ensuring that their prior work results and knowledge meets the qualifications.
At the end of the day, there is not a right or wrong direction, but rather an appropriate fit for both the position and candidate.
At Inspiring HR, we uncomplicate HR and empower small businesses. Ready to learn more about how we can help you? Call us at 804-715-1920 or drop us a line to schedule an appointment with one our HR solutions consultants.