More often than never companies are flooded with thousands of candidate profiles, multiple cover letters explaining their candidature, messages on LinkedIn, referrals from employees, etc. In totality recruiting for an open position in a team is often a nightmarish experience for a manager for various reasons.
During this recruitment process, recruiting managers are often stuck with the important task of screening through all the resumes submitted by candidates for their teams. Some candidates bring in specific experience in a given domain or are skilled in one or the other industry-standard tool which is crucial for the role that they are being interviewed for.
The decision whether to recruit a skilled and experienced resource for the team’s headcount or provide an opportunity to a resource who has the potential to learn the process/project. In my experience, I’ve come to strongly believe that concept of “Right resource for the right job” plays a key role in the success of a project/process or any event in a company. However, if a resource has the potential to learn and perform/deliver, then there is nothing like it. But that’s just me, being true to my style of working. To learn more on this topic I had to consider talking to my peers, friends, managers, and mentors. Here is what I asked, “If you are at a managerial position and need a resource in the team. Would you consider hiring a candidate with learning potential or experienced resources?” I gave them 2 recruitment scenarios which are “Scenario 1: Resource is needed to be able to deliver the project in 2 months and scenario 2: Total time given by a client is 6 months. To hire, train and deliver”. When they answered my question I immediately followed up asking, “Is it always that way?”
The majority of people who answered wanted to hire a candidate who has the learning potential which shows on the candidate’s profile. The answers given by my peers, friends, managers, and mentors were based on their experience and domain knowledge. Here are some of the common factors that they had considered when answering my question.
- Budget factor – the first thing to consider while recruiting a candidate is the budget allocated to the hiring of the resource. If and when hiring an experienced candidate, the budget will be most likely be higher as compared to a resource with learning potential because training will be a major factor during the hiring process. Getting another resource with experience may lead to the additional budget as well.
- Short term – a resource with learning potential presents a lower risk of burnout as compared to an experienced candidate. If you are in search of an experienced candidate, you are more likely to have them on your team for a longer duration because few new resources will be hired in this role also.
- Ability to deliver – an experienced resource can easily walk in on day one and start executing on their tasks however, when it comes to a resource with learning potential usually they are given more time to learn, hence the project deltas and client expectations will not get hurt.
- Flexibility – a resource with learning potential poses no risk of burnout because they are more flexible as compared to an experienced candidate who is used to following processes in their respective domains and hence this doesn’t pose any risk of burnout for them either.
- Safe hire – if you are looking for a safe hire, then experience is where you should focus on as it is more likely that the candidate will get along well with team members and other resources working on the project, reducing the risk of conflicts within the team.
To sum up, it is a myth that experienced resources can deliver the project faster. However, in the long term, they are equally flexible as compared to a resource with learning potential. This is the best time when both domains of experience and learning potential combine to contribute and work for the overall success of a process/project. The one thing which I learnt from my professional experience is that the recruiting process and the hiring process are different processes entirely.