Hiring: Experience vs. Expertise

On a daily basis, an endless amount of advertisement for jobs hiring can be viewed online. In fact, you may be following organizations to keep informed about opportunities best suited to your goals. If you’ve chosen a career or industry to specialize in or are evaluating and researching to make that decision, many tools are available to assist you.

What is perplexing and disturbing today is the volume of advertisements for jobs hiring that list “one-year minimum experience needed or preferred” under the qualifications.

This begs the question: who will it attract? And based on the ad wording: who was it designed to attract in the first place? Would it attract the five-year experienced professional looking to make a change or evaluate options? Will the professional with 5-10 years of experience think they’ll get a response for an interview after reading an ad that says “one-year minimum experience?”

Many organizations today are hiring to solve problems and hire for solution-oriented professionals. If you are a 10-plus year professional with devoted clients, who are more than likely to seek you out or follow you, wouldn’t an organization want to have discussions with you at the highest level regarding compatibility?

These conversations can often lead to mergers or acquisitions —a significant part of this economy. Well, when the qualifications are one year, regardless of the name, reputation and competitive image, this ends up repelling those of any valuable commodity of thought, professional expertise or critical problem-solving skills.

We haven’t even touched on what happens when applying online into “Internet Neverland,” with often little or no response whatsoever.

What is also unfortunate is the way hiring is sometimes handled by organizations that advertise major director-level positions, requiring significant qualifications from technical expertise to high-level management experience, such as P&L oversight, business development revenue and profit performance skills. Often, over a six-month period or longer of mass interviewing, these organizations end up hiring way beneath those high standards.

Now, those organizations have every right to apply their criteria for hiring, but I contend they pay the price for how long it takes, and those high standard skill requirements come off as veneer camouflage. Whether consciously or unconsciously, it does come off that way. There is an old expression in business, and it goes something like this: “The market knows.”

My other concern is the impressionability on the mind of the applicant. An applicant of any age, experience or gender can start to think, “If it takes this long to make a decision to get hired, what will it be like for decisions made once I’m working there?” Red Light! This should be a wake-up call for corporations, but it’s ignored with hollow excuses like “this is the policy,” “this is the way it’s done” and “take it or leave.”

For those applicants and organizations, if experience matters, then impressionability matters even more.

As our economy moves toward full employment, there will be critical increased demand for professionalism in client-facing relationship skills, servicing standards efficiency, technical industry credibility and requirements for compliance, cyber protection, finance, IT, legal and risk management expertise, to name a few.

First impressions and responses are vital to the talent tidal wave that has been building for some time. Allowing experienced culture-fit professionals to slip through the cracks should be prevented. Plus, long interview cycles and delayed decisions rust the original shine of an organization.

Achieving maximum potential for your chosen career is the goal!  The process of getting there must improve because impressionability is magneticon both sides of the hiring spectrum.


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