Huriot — Only looking at work experience? How you are hurting your hiring and what you can do about it Article headline

Only looking at work experience? How you are hurting your hiring and what you can do about it

Posted by Simon Jones August 2, 2022

Hiring is tough right now. Labor shortages, inflation, economic uncertainty – these factors make it difficult. But if you are basing your hiring decisions only on your applicant’s previous work experience then you are missing out on outstanding applicants.

Take two applicants for a customer service role: Applicant A has been a customer service rep for five years, and they understand what customers need, how best to help them, and goes above and beyond to do so. Applicant B has been a customers service rep for over ten years, but doesn’t actually care that much about helping customers.

Both might have many years of customer service experience, but only Applicant A is going to help your business grow, while you will probably part ways Applicant B not long after you hire them.

“Don't confuse experience with expertise. Having faced a problem doesn't guarantee you've mastered a solution.” - Adam Grant, Wharton School.

Adam Grant says it all – just because someone has done something before, doesn’t mean they are very good at it.

So how do you actually determine whether an applicant is a good fit for your role?


1. Define your requirements

You need to break the habit of “I want someone with three years of experience”. Experience is important, but you need to have a clear idea of what it is essential that someone has done before.

Think about your ideal applicant: their skills, their qualities, the knowledge they possess. Then think about the experience of the tasks and responsibilities of the role they will have.

2. Tell applicants what you want

If your job advert just says “must have five years of experience”, then applicants won’t know what you care about. No two jobs are the same, even if they are in the same industry or sector. Take sales. There's lots of ways sales roles can differ, including:

What the role sells – some roles might need deep, technical knowledge, others might not

Being proactive – some sales roles require cold calling, for others customers will visit stores

Relationships – some sales roles, like art sales, require reps to build close relationships with a few, regular customers, while other roles, like cell phone sales, require reps to quickly build a rapport with lots of different customers

When you know exactly what you need and want, tell applicants. Lay out the skills and qualities they will bring and the knowledge they possess. Then layout the tasks and responsibilities of the role, and the experience of these applicants should have.

3. Ask applicants the right questions

But it isn’t enough to just let applicants know what you need. To really move beyond just looking at experience, you need to give applicants the change to show you what else they will bring.

Resumes don’t let applicants do that. All they do is tell you what an applicant has done before professionally. That’s fine for some people. But what about school leavers, or those returning to the workforce? What about those pivoting from different careers? You could be missing outstanding applicants.

That’s where Huriot can help. Huriot lets applicants show how their qualities, skills, and knowledge meet your needs, and the experience that applicants have against the responsibilities of the role. Applicants can apply from any device, speeding up the application process.

Ready to get started?

For a limited time only, it is free to post jobs and find applicants on Huriot