When looking to hire someone, what do you give more importance to?
Most employers look for potential hires to have been there and done that. Experience at doing something and being successful at it previously is a key requirement when looking to fill a job. Although experience definitely adds to a potential hire’s qualifications and can help reduce or totally eliminate a learning curve, it is not always as important as you may think.
What is more important is the excitement a potential hire shows for the position applied for. How hungry are they for the opportunity? How excited are they to take on the challenge? What attracts them to the organization, the business and the particular role? Is their energy contagious?
An enthusiastic individual will develop expertise soon enough and gain experience as they learn and figure things out. After all, everyone starts with what they do from scratch. Someone gave you an opportunity to do what you do and that’s how you gained experience. It’s important to find and nurture the excitement in your hires for they very soon will be invaluable as resources with the right levels of enthusiasm, expertise and experience developed on the job. For all the experience one may have on the job, what if they lack the enthusiasm. They may continue to do an average or perhaps, an optimum job due to their experience of having done that before but you will never be able to expect them to set new standards, find innovative ways of doing things and thus influence the team with their enthusiastic streak, thus motivating all to do better and take pride in what they do. Enthusiasm makes one go the extra mile for the sheer experience of enjoying the work at hand. In fact, resources that get excited about their job tend to stay longer, produce better and share their expertise with others, thus passing their excitement through everyone they interact with.
The need for experience is seen as a key requirement for senior roles. Experience is a definite asset in leadership roles for it proves the point that you have done something before and been successful at it, but experience tempered with enthusiasm serves better. Sometimes, enthusiasm does take precedence over experience in senior roles as well since, the candidate brings in several transferable skills to the role and the lack of experience in the particular field should not be a deterrent if the person is hungry and excited about the role since all of their previous experiences will add thrust to their enthusiasm and help them figure things out. In fact, they will see things in a different light due to the uniqueness of their background and that could be the bedrock of new and creative ways of doing things within the role.
Again, when evaluating someone with minimum related experience but excited about an opportunity; it is important to ensure that their alternate experiences and background are a result of their investments in their education, learning, skill development, efforts and most importantly, their enthusiasm in what they did previously.