When reviewing job applications for an open position within your business, there are specific considerations that you will want to keep in mind. These include everything from the position’s salary range to the skills and knowledge required. It also means looking at hiring experienced vs inexperienced employees and deciding which one you want to hire.
When choosing between hiring experienced vs inexperienced employees, what are the differences in each type of professional? And, what are the advantages or drawbacks of hiring one over the other?
Benefits of Hiring Experienced Employees
The most obvious benefit of hiring experienced employees is that they know their stuff. They’ve had time to hone their skills and learn the ‘tricks of the trade’ that enable them to work more efficiently and produce better results. Experienced employees can innovate based on the solid foundation of knowledge they possess.
Seasoned employees take less time to reach their full potential in a role. Rather than learning a job from scratch, they’re more likely to build upon an existing skill set or bring their expertise to a new setting. They can also complete tasks in less time because they’ve had years of practice.
Experienced employees already know how to use the tools and software required to do a job or at least have experience with similar ones. This contributes to lower training costs and less time invested in education.
Knowledge of professional norms
A seasoned workforce member has experience in their skill area and in a professional environment in general. They understand expectations in a business setting, know how to interact with clients and possess professional etiquette that can be lacking in new employees.
A certain point of view comes with experience–it’s only gained by putting in the years, and there’s no shortcut. Since they’ve been in the field longer, experienced employees have had time to witness trends and observe customer behavior, which can bring a valuable level of insight to an employer.
Experienced employees have been through the challenges the job can pose. They know that one setback doesn’t equal failure, which can make them more resilient in the face of future difficulties.
Disadvantages of Hiring Experienced Employees
- Cost: Experienced employees are more costly to hire than their less experienced peers. If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll need to carefully weigh your skill needs against your financial constraints when deciding whether to hire experienced vs inexperienced employees.
- Competition: In addition to being more expensive to hire, seasoned employees are also more difficult to land. Their skill set gives them more leverage when negotiating with prospective employers, which means experienced candidates may have a lower offer acceptance rate than entry-level ones.
- Not ‘moldable’: Because experienced workers have already achieved some level of success, they’re more likely to be set in their ways than someone who’s just starting. This could lead to challenges with coaching and the adoption of new technology.
- Disillusionment: Unfortunately, the longer a person is in the workforce, the longer they’ve had to become jaded by the tedious aspects of their profession. It can be harder to engage more tenured workers who no longer feel the same ‘spark’ as when the job was fresh and new.
Benefits of Hiring Inexperienced Employees
One of the primary benefits of hiring inexperienced employees is that they don’t come with the baggage or bad habits of their more experienced colleagues. Because you’re starting with a blank slate, you can train them in your systems and processes so the job is done exactly to your company’s standards.
Employees who are new to the workforce offer fresh perspectives and creative ideas that can contribute to a company’s performance. Since many inexperienced workers will be fresh out of college, they may also have experience with cutting-edge technology that the company has yet to adopt.
Entry-level employees are cheaper to hire than more experienced ones. This can be an asset, especially in positions where the number of workers makes a greater impact than their knowledge level.
Inexperienced workers are enthusiastic and eager to please. They’re often willing to take on additional responsibilities to gain experience and prove themselves in the company.
Disadvantages of Hiring Inexperienced Employees
- Longer time-to-productivity: Inexperienced employees naturally require more training and take longer to accomplish tasks until they fully learn the ropes. This also means more mistakes and more hand-holding required, which can burden managers more.
- Lack of workplace knowledge: Training for an inexperienced employee isn’t limited to position-specific skills. There’s also a learning curve when it comes to workplace behavior. It can take some practice for new employees to be able to work on a team successfully, communicate with clients, and understand office culture.
- Increased demands: Generally speaking, the youngest segment of the workforce comes with more demands than their older peers did at the same phase of their careers. They emphasize flexibility, diversity, and social responsibility and will expect their employer to prioritize these things.
- Turnover risk: Less experienced workers tend to be younger, and younger workers are less worried about job-hopping than their more tenured peers. They’re also looking for ways to climb the ladder quickly. Both of these things contribute to a higher risk of turnover among inexperienced employees.
Impact of Experienced vs Inexperienced Employees on Company Culture
Choosing between hiring with little to no experience or vast experience is a big decision that can ultimately impact the culture within your organization. Are you looking for employees who will bring change or adapt to your culture?
Inexperienced employees may bring exciting energy and curiosity that challenge your more experienced workers. New employees can either mold themselves to your company culture or bring about change. With some more experienced workers, they may be used to operating a certain way and be resistant to adapting to your corporate culture.
Either way, it’s imperative when reviewing job applications to ensure that each employee is either a good cultural fit or has ideas for improving your existing culture.
So Should You Hire Experienced or Inexperienced Employees?
Here are some aspects to consider when hiring experienced vs. inexperienced employees.
Assess how your recruiting budget aligns with your talent needs.
Sometimes, saving money and going with an inexperienced worker might make sense. An example would be if you’re supplementing a large team with a solid knowledge base, and more experienced workers can provide coaching. In other cases, like when you’re looking to fulfill a critical business need, paying for someone with prior experience is an excellent investment.
If you need more specialized skills, you’ll also need more experienced workers. Conducting a skill gap analysis can help you decide where your hiring budget would be best spent to ensure operational needs are met.
This goes beyond budget. Do team members have the bandwidth and resources to provide adequate training? Are systems in place to support workers with little experience? Without these things, hiring inexperienced workers will create more problems than it solves.
Finally, consider how both types of workers will mesh with (or change) your company culture. Are you traditional or disruptive? Creative or conventional? Serious or laid-back? These core elements of your culture will affect your ability to successfully attract and retain experienced versus inexperienced workers.
Get the Best Candidates By Partnering with the Right Staffing Agency
There are many benefits of hiring experienced employees; there also are advantages for those who choose to hire and train new employees. What it ultimately boils down to, when choosing between hiring experienced vs inexperienced employees, is determining which option is the best for your business and its needs. This means having access to the right candidates and applicants, which requires a strategic plan in this candidate’s job market.
4 Corner Resources (4CR) is a professional staffing agency dedicated to recruiting the best candidates for our clients. With years of experience and access to extensive resources and candidates, we are here to connect you with the experienced or new talent your company needs.
Ready to hire better talent?
Connect with our recruiting professionals today.