Management Matters

Do You Hire for Skill or for Experience?

Date Posted: 04/12/2017

Do You Hire for Skill or for Experience?

What’s your hiring philosophy? What is the perfect formula? On one end of the spectrum are the people who have core skills gathered from extensive study, training experience and another sits as raw talent. Some people may be fresh out of college, some may have pursued additional learning and acquired skills over a period of years throughout their professional career. Which candidate gains an advantage in the whole selection process?

“Hire for attitude. Train for skill.” or “Hire Passion and Talent more than Skills and Experience”. Have you ever agonized over deciding who to hire: The candidate with super specialized skills or the candidate with the length and depth of experience? A very promising rookie or a seasoned veteran? There IS an objective way to assess each candidate.

Create a job profile. In order to evaluate job fit, prepare a position profile that identifies these factors: functional skills, industry experience and cultural fit.

What does the company need? Is the position one of senior leadership or one of staff/specialist? Answering this first question can help recruiters sift through a stack of candidate profiles. A leadership position requires both skill and experience in varying degrees. A candidate who has core technical skills can move to a different industry and be successful. However, a highly skilled candidate who does not have substantial experience leading a team (much less an organization) poses a higher risk if considered to fill a senior role. How much is your organization willing to risk on the skills brought on by a candidate lacking in experience?

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What are the specific objectives of the position?

Just like managing tasks, it is important to determine the exact objectives that will be set in front of the successful hire. How does meeting this business objective impact the overall performance of the organization? Based on the candidate’s track record, work history and achievements, will the candidate be able to execute and meet these objectives within a set period, given the company’s current situation?

Is the position addressing strategic or tactical objectives?

A position of leadership requires strong business management orientation while a role that fulfills tasks that can be done by a number of similar skilled staff, although of an expert level, may not necessarily require the same level of experience. For strategic roles, a careful assessment of the candidate’s proven ability to strategize and steer the course while managing the people that execute has an advantage over the candidate that has purely tactical and no strategy leadership experience.

When interviewing candidates, consider these reasons for hiring:

  • Experience and qualifications
    • What skills are relevant to the position and what are the non-negotiable skills needed in order to get the job done?
    • What previous experience makes the candidate right for the job?
  • Skills and abilities
    • What are the positions’ challenges and how would the right person for the job address these challenges?
    • How capable is the candidate in meeting timelines based on track record or work history?
    • Does the candidate have concrete data to show results delivered and growth/development achieved?
  • Values/Cultural fit
    • What are the core values of the company that align with the candidate’s values?
    • How enthusiastic is the candidate?
    • Does the candidate manifest a strong desire to contribute to the company’s success?
    • Has the candidate expressed or articulated his or her desire to help the company solve its current challenges?
    • Is the candidate flexible? Can he/she take direction?

Depending on the specific requirements of the position, the way to hire smart is to pay close attention to the position’s requirements and organizational need. The science behind recruitment benchmarks, scorecards and best practices should be put into good use when assessing the right match. Hire people you can learn a lot from. Hire for heart and hands. The greatest thing a recruiter can give a candidate is an opportunity to have a job that challenges them to not just apply themselves in an almost mechanical way, but to be able to plant professional seeds that eventually allow them and the company to reap worthwhile and lasting benefits.

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Need to give your business a shot in the arm by hiring some of the best talents from the Philippines? You can trust Ikon Solutions to find the best people for you and be certain that every detail of the hiring process is maximized in finding your ideal candidates.

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