John Grubbs - When Training Matters

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Many job advertisers seek experience in the job as a prerequisite for qualification.  Is this a mistake or an attempted shortcut to avoid the heavy lift that comes with training a new employee?  Is experience the best answer when it comes to adding talent to your team?  With today’s transitional workforce and the great resignation upon us, are too many employers relying on experience at the expense of acquiring the best talent available?  These are loaded questions.  

On the one hand, experience is desirable for task-oriented positions like brain surgery or flying a Boeing 737.  On the other hand, even the best surgeons and pilots had a first-time solo.  Most jobs do not require experience, while others may be regulated to require expertise on the job.  I am not declaring experience alone has no value.  For example, combat experience determines someone’s ability to handle the mental demands of war.  Experience does have intrinsic value.  Are you placing too much weight on something (like experience) that may prevent you from considering the potential in others?

A recent LinkedIn poll revealed that 93% of respondents would choose a recent graduate with no experience and a great attitude over an average qualified candidate with 3-5 years of experience.  I call bull squat!   I designed the survey (yes, it was me) to hide the true nature of my inquisition.  I estimate that 93% of recent hires are the best available (yet average candidate) to perform the job during these challenging times.  Too brutal?  Stay with me.

As hiring gets closer to the front lines in a business, the value of a great attitude becomes more and more diluted.  When a company has many open positions to be filled, warm bodies become the rule, not the exception.  Employees become fillers for open positions. And occasionally, you stumble upon the talented bus driver with a fantastic attitude that everyone loves.  Unfortunately, finding great attitudes to hire is more about luck than a strategy for many companies.

[In his book Hiring for Attitude, Mark Murphy...

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