Don’t Hire People With Experience…Ish

Hiring employees is one of the most crucial decisions a company can make. Hiring the right people can be the difference between success and failure, and there is thus reason to give this decision an extra thought or two. But who is the right person? Is it always the people with the most experience? I don’t think so.

Knowledge Can Be Taught, Attitude Can Not

Let me say this first thing; I’m not claiming hiring for experience is bad. Experience is of course an extremely important factor to consider when hiring people you think are qualified for the role. I would for example never consider hiring a doctor that has no experience whatsoever within healthcare, so for some industries experience is absolutely the key factor. However, if we disregard those specific cases, there is an argument to be made that if you are looking for a job and find one where you meet all expectations, you are overqualified. There is no longer room for you to grow personally, and with that your drive and overall attitude diminish much more rapidly. You are then not an asset to the company that employed you, but a burden. I would think that people in general are more engaged and interested when they are simultaneously learning. But how can you learn if you meet all experience expectations? What you are asked to do you have already learnt!

3 Reasons Why Attitude Should Be a Key Denominator When Hiring New Employees

New Perspectives & Ideas – Experienced employees often have a specific set of skills and knowledge that they have acquired over the years, and are in some areas set in their ways of working. This can lead to them not bringing the same level of creativity and innovation as a less experienced employee would have done. When companies hire for potential, they are investing in the employee, similar to investing in a fine bottle of wine. The more it matures and ages, the better it gets. 

Avoid Learned Limitations – When a company only hires based on experience, they may miss out on talented individuals who don’t have the exact right set of skills, but have the potential to develop them. This can lead to a less diverse workforce, limiting the company’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances. By hiring for potential, companies are more likely to bring in individuals who are open to learning, willing to take on new challenges, and not be held back by “this is the way I have always done it”, which is essential for growth and success.

Higher Productivity – A third advantage of hiring for potential and drive is that it can lead to a more motivated and engaged workforce. When employees are hired for their drive and potential, they are more likely to feel valued and appreciated by their employer. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation, which can result in higher productivity and improved performance. Additionally, employees who are hired for their drive and potential are often more committed to their work and have a stronger sense of purpose, which can lead to improved employee retention.


By focusing on an employee’s potential and drive, companies can reap benefits from the employee not reachable with an employee that has too much experience. While it is of course important to consider experience when hiring, it should not be the only factor. Companies that are willing to take a risk and hire for potential and drive are likely to see positive results in the long run. Know this though, I am not saying that it is black and white; hire for experience or hire for potential. But every now and then, companies would benefit from taking a leap of faith in the individual, instead of betting on what is written on their CV. 

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