How to recruit candidates with zero relevant work experience

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In the recruitment world, most sectors and disciplines are extremely “talent” short
therefore, hiring managers have to become more receptive and agile to hiring
potential employees who do not necessarily possess the most relevant (if any)
work experience pertaining to the role required.
What is the recommended process to ensure the match is still suitable for both parties
and to guarantee that the incumbent employee has the best induction to ensure
success in the role.
It is often mused that a good leader would rather hire someone who has the right
attitude over like-for-like experience. I have a very simplistic view that knowledge
can be taught but attitude can’t be. We can learn buzzwords, we can expand and
grow our knowledge through speaking to people doing the job and over time we
become wiser. However, having tenacity, care for our work, being honest and
ethical – these are attributes I hold much more important than X amount of years
doing the job.
Yet how do you measure these factors and ensure that someone is still capable in
terms of the technical aspects of the job during your interview process.
Who do YOU know?
My first recommendation is to interview through internal recommendations – basing
this strategy on accepting those who are successful already in your businessyou
can offer an internal reward scheme to do this as it incentivises staff to refer
their social group. however err on the side of caution by still basing your entry
criteria on your essential behaviours and attributes
Analyse
Benchmark your current team- using psychometric profiling to understand what science
is behind their success; you can’t just use a “gut feeling” to establish what
makes your top biller a top biller! You need to scientifically break down how their
brain functions. Use a specialist to assess the results and use them in the interview
process to question the interviewee. Don’t doubt the results either.
Day trial
As part of your hiring strategy, allow the potential employee to spend minimum half
a day with the team and manager they are going to be working with; let them experience
the highs and the lows of the reality of the job. Allow them open forum
to ask questions, spend time with people independently. And give everyone a
chance to feedback on the potential hire as well as this not only allows them to
feel appreciated and valued but they may have picked up on a nuance that you
haven’t during a more formal interview.
Be receptive
very often hiring managers overlook transferable skills when setting out their requirements
and with the structure often dictated by the HR partner, it can be difficult
to hire off the official job brief- it is very important to be receptive as a hiring
manager but also to educate your colleagues about what skills a person possesses
that may prove more invaluable to your team rather than a ‘like for like’
hire – you can create a much more creative and inspiring culture by hiring people
off spec who add their own flair. An ensemble of talent rather than a crowd of
clones?
What do you think? Is it important to always hire off a job spec or can you be creative
and hire someone with zero work experience? How brave are you?

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