Would you hire a candidate with virtually no relevant experience? In the past, most hiring managers would have said no to this question (and some still would!) but in today’s job market we are seeing more and more inexperienced candidates being placed into roles where they have no correlating work experience.
Understandably this is not the case for all jobs and the majority of roles will require a specific skill set and relevant experience (especially for senior-level positions). But in roles that are more flexible, what can a candidate with no experience provide?
So why consider a candidate with no experience?
It’s an opportunity to invest in their potential
Taking this less than conventional approach to hiring is riskier but the payoff can be worth it. You’ll have the opportunity to build a diverse workforce filled with different qualities, benefits and ideas from people with different career backgrounds.
You’re choosing to hire a candidate because of their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. It’s infectious and their potential can radiate into the team. Also, usually, this person will have a genuine interest in their new career path and are determined to succeed in the new role (given the opportunity).
Adaptable with a fresh perspective
Bring a whole new perspective to the team. Hiring an inexperienced candidate provides a different outlook where they’re adaptable and have no previous set ways of doing things. They’re likely to adjust quickly to their new working environment and won’t need lots of training to get settled into the ways in which your organisation works.
Eager to learn and succeed
With lots to prove, the candidate with the least experience will want to impress. For what they lack in experience they certainly don’t lack in determination. There’s no work experience safety blanket for them to fall back on, so instead, they’ll go above and beyond the baseline to make sure they can succeed in the role.
How to hire a candidate with no experience
Look for those transferable skills
Those all-important transferable skills will help you assess whether they’ll be a good fit for the role. These skills are generally grouped together into different categories such as:
- Leadership and people management
- Time management
- Technological literacy
These are skills gained from the candidate’s past job role, volunteer work, hobbies, internships, freelance roles or educational background. No matter the candidate’s job history, it’s important that as an employer you focus on how the candidate can utilise these skills in the new position.
Candidates demonstrate enthusiasm and determination when they take it upon themselves to learn the relevant skills for their career path. Those who set aside time to do this show a real passion for the role and an eagerness to prove that they’re the right person for the job.
When choosing to hire a candidate with no experience it’s really important to favour attitude and motivation. Selecting someone who is determined can really pay off later down the line.
It’s definitely a challenge to screen for transferable and soft skills but having the right strategy in place will make it easier to assess and compare applicants. For all positions where experience is not the priority, screen job applications using an assessment of specific keywords surrounding the job role. Some employers may favour competency-based screening software to examine applicant text, language and context in a fair and efficient manner.
Should I take the chance?
There are definitely lots of positives to hiring a candidate with no experience. But it’s subject to the role in which you are hiring and the resources you have to do so. For many, it’s worth taking the chance because of the potential that person can bring. A new outlook and a genuine passion for the job are valuable assets that many hiring managers will advocate for.
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