over 1 year ago by Next Generation

Hiring For Potential Or Experience - Which Is More Important?

Hiring For Potential Or Experience

​Candidates are often looked at through two lenses when hiring: those with years of experience and those with potential. Understanding which is better suited for the specific role can be the difference between hiring the right candidate and hiring the wrong one.

While hiring managers may have a preference for one over the other, there are additional factors within both to consider when deciding who is best for the role. In this blog, we walk through some of the advantages and disadvantages both can bring to your company.

Who Is Better For My Company?

At an overview, hiring for potential means that you are investing in someone who has the ability to grow and develop within your company. What’s good about this is that you are helping to develop a long-term relationship and are creating a more motivated workforce. However, there is the possibility of your new hire not meeting your expectations in this case.

On the other hand, hiring for experience means that you are bringing in somebody who has a proven record of skills and knowledge in the role. Doing this can potentially save you time and money in terms of training. Although, you can often lose out on the cultural benefits of someone growing into a top performer from the ground up within your business.

Potential vs. Experience: Who Is Better For Creativity?

When you're hiring for potential, you're looking for someone with talent, but with little to no experience and knowledge to bring into the role. Hiring someone without any previous experience opens up new possibilities for your company when it comes to bringing new insights to existing problems.

While the more experienced candidate may seem like an obvious choice, people with potential are not without their strengths. Someone with potential may be more motivated to succeed and eager to learn. People with experience can often be set in their ways while demanding a much higher salary.


Potential vs. Experience: Who Can Adapt?

Experienced candidates can often be observed as being resistant to changes and seldom entertain the possibility of taking on a more liberal approach to doing things.

Fresh minds have a more progressive attitude towards new ideas and ways of doing things. They can potentially bring the rest of the company to a place of innovation and progress.

It is important to remember that someone with raw potential but no experience may require more investment upfront. However, the investment may pay off in the long run as they can grow within your culture and alongside your existing workforce.

Potential vs. Experience: Who Is Better For Hiring Quickly?

This will highly depend on the position. Should your organisation require filing a position quickly, hiring for potential can be a beneficial option. Looking for someone who has experience could take months which can have a significant impact on your business while you struggle to fill the role.

With that in mind, it is worth investing some time upfront in trying to find an experienced candidate if possible, as they will be able to hit the ground running a lot faster than a less experienced applicant. As a result, this should help save your management team time in training and encountering potential mistakes.

Potential vs. Experience: Who Is Better For Innovation?

Hiring someone new to your profession is a great way to change the way your company deals with its day-to-day circumstances. These people can be a little inexperienced but full of enthusiasm to succeed.

Less experienced candidates can come up with a lot of unconventional ideas if enabled within the right environment. Sometimes an unorthodox approach is the best way to reignite your company’s passion. Candidates just starting their careers can bring a new perspective to the workplace and foster a culture of innovation.

Potential vs. Experience: Who Is Better Fit for the Team?

Think about the values of your company and what you want your team to represent. Take a look at the potential candidate's resume and see if their experience aligns with your company's goals.

An experienced candidate may be more familiar with a previous business’ culture. A new candidate may not fit in right away but can learn how to communicate ideas and interact with the business.

During the interview process, make sure to ask questions that will help you gauge whether or not the candidate is a good fit for your team, regardless of their experience. You can ask other questions that can provide you with insight into their skills and experience, but engaging with the applicant specifically on teamwork and culture should assist you with knowing who is a better fit for the role.

Potential vs Experience

Increase Employee Loyalty

When hiring an employee based on potential, you can often build a strong relationship through trust. You have trusted them based more on their potential instead of proven skills which can later translate to loyalty from the employee's side.

A new hire with potential will spend their early career years learning from you and your business. This can help foster a positive company culture across the company particularly when newer employees come on board down the line and see a coworker who has been a part of the success from the ground up.

Don't Obsess Over Finding The Perfect Candidate

It is important to keep in mind that the perfect candidate doesn’t exist. Whoever you hire will always have small quirks that go with or against what you may be used to.

Hiring for potential allows you to find and mould candidates. They may not have all the required skills yet, but they do have the ability to learn your office culture quickly.

On the other hand, hiring for experience can create less stress for the hiring team and ensure reliability and a quick turnaround for the new role. Ensure you discuss internally what the role requires and from there, you can make the best decision based on the candidates available.

If you are currently looking to source talent and would like to discuss how we can assist you with locating the right fit for the job, reach out to our team today at enquiries@nextgeneration.ie.