Hiring for prior experience only is drastically limiting your candidate pool.

Historically, companies have chosen candidates with the most relevant experience over other candidates that show potential to do the job but have never done it before. That standard practice is quickly changing. New statistics show that companies are far more interested in one’s potential in the workplace than their actual skillset.

Why? There are many reasons. The current labor market has a shortage of skilled talent and unemployment rates are lower than they have been in over 15 years. For most companies, the quality of available candidates is much lower than in previous decades. To combat these hiring challenges, companies are placing more weight on candidate personality, soft skills, and career potential.

Soft Skills

Experience is not all it takes to make a good hire. If a candidate’s priorities and soft skills do not align with your company culture, the experience will mean little when they can’t work effectively with your team. During the hiring process, it is important to evaluate communication skills, interpersonal skills, and overall attitude. These are all transferable skills that can be an asset to any employer. Coachability is another factor that employers should take into consideration now more than ever in the past. A candidate that is eager to learn may unlock potential that you would have never guessed just by looking at their resume.


Candidates with limited work experience are often eager to get their foot in the door and begin contributing to a team. They are more likely to bring new and innovative ideas if they know they are welcomed. They walk in the door without predispositions about the industry and are not going to be “stuck in their ways”. An outside perspective can help companies ensure they are changing with the times and staying relevant.

Attraction and Retention

Companies are likely able to get a larger pool of candidates when seeking individuals who would consider the opportunity a step up in their career rather than a lateral move. Better yet, this opens the door to current employees to apply for another role within the organization, promoting high employee morale and job satisfaction. Candidates want to join companies where there is room for growth. Hiring less experienced employees may not always work out but you’ll be pleasantly surprised when, given the chance, those with junior experience shine and bring about unexpected value.



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