Looking at the headline might have you blurting out that it’s a no-brainer question, but the truth is, there’s more to it than saying that raw talent should be isolated to a relatively new function, or that experienced employees are always the best candidate for critical leadership posts.
To set things in perspective, you have raw talent when your candidate can acquire skills even without formal training or education and proficiently perform in professional would. On the other hand, a candidate gains experience from past and present training at work or other professional activities.
Deciding whom to hire is actually far from a one-size-fits-all solution, as many factors need to be considered including the interplay of the candidate’s fit into the whole gamut of the job’s roles and responsibilities.
Raw talent may come rare, and experience can be a potent weapon in many ways. Nevertheless, you could use some guidelines for when to hire between two candidates who are far apart based on what they can bring to the table.
When to Hire for Raw Talent
- When extra manpower is needed
If you’re trying to expand an existing team in any particular department, you may go for someone who’s got the talent but not necessarily the highest level of experience in that field. This will work if the department’s workflow has long been established and you only need extra staff to make sure the job gets done. Also, consider preparing your office space to welcome new employees.
To get the most out of your chosen candidate, make sure you focus on the person’s productivity numbers and predilection for innovation. This way, you will have someone in the group who may have a new, better way of doing things or solving problems within the department. For this person, complacency and stagnancy are out of the question.
- When the company is headed to transition
During a period of change within the organization, whether it’s a change in business model, culture, or technology, raw talent can be tapped to join the ranks of people who will be with the company as it turns over a new leaf.
Compared to an experienced candidate, raw talent is ready to start fresh, with no predisposed preferences to an existing formula that they are highly familiar or comfortable with. Simply put, you can be sure that raw talent will take on all new challenges head-on with an open mind and courageous spirit.
When to Hire for Experience
- When the focus is on specialized knowledge
An expert who has a long history of industry experience and a deep well of insights for customer experience can be a gem for your organization, especially when you are trying to reevaluate current practices in the workplace.
You’ll definitely need someone who has experience in identifying and organizing better systems or procedure for the company.
- When the quality of leadership is waning
Current recruitment trends are seen to generally favor millennials for their fresh ideas, technological acuity, and insatiable appetite for risk-taking and success. Despite these attributes, organizations acknowledge that there is leadership drain across business industries, which may be a great disadvantage to a company’s future growth.
This is not to say that millennials don’t have what it takes to become the next big thing in the business scene. Then again, the fact remains that they can’t match the leadership values or mentoring qualities of those with experience just yet.
Last but not least, there is much wisdom in hiring for experience for when you need someone who can achieve a balance between maintaining order and welcoming change within the organization.
At the end of the day, hiring talent over experience, or vice versa, has its own pros and cons. When in doubt, reflect on what your organization truly needs, and more often than not, quality and excellence come first.