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How to Keep an Open Mind When Candidates Lack Experience

How to Keep an Open Mind When Candidates Lack Experience

When it comes to experience, some companies are changing their tune and loosening their requirements around the number of years of experience needed and some are even going so far as to say there is no experience necessary for certain roles.

Employers, here’s a quick look at the advantages of taking this approach.

No Bad Habits

People who don’t have the exact experience you’re looking for because they’re changing industries, have a skill gap or are entry level likely haven’t developed any bad workplace habits. You can train these employees to do things exactly how you want them to be done.  

Close Enough

Even if they don’t have the exact skills you mentioned in the job description, they could still have valuable transferable skills giving them a solid foundation to get the job done. Plus, they could be looking for a change or moving industries and the opportunity to learn new skills may be so important to them they’ll agree to a lower salary.

The Price is Right

More experience generally means paying more money. If you are looking to save a little cash, try hiring a more junior level person who can be trained and grow into the role over time.

Good Chemistry 

In addition to skills and experience, culture and personality fit are huge factors when hiring. Again, someone may not have all the skills you desire, but they could absolutely be the right fit with your culture. On the other hand, a candidate who has the exact skills you want, but would not be a great cultural/team fit isn’t going to be as successful as you hope. Don’t underestimate how important a cultural fit is when hiring for your organization!

Eager to Learn, Grow, Please

Candidates straight out of college likely have internship experience, but no actual work experience and they will be very eager to have the opportunity to get it. They will go out of their way to please you, learn everything they can and do lots of growing in their first organization. Remember once upon a time someone took a chance on you and gave you the experience you needed to excel in your career. Now could be the right time to pay it forward.


When you invest in talent (training, education, career development), your organization wins. Taking a chance on someone who doesn’t necessarily have all the experience, but has the qualities to get there could result in great ROI down the road. They can be trained and learn the skills they need to make valuable contributions and will be eager to work their way up in your organization. And they’re likely to be more loyal to you for giving them the opportunity. Yes, it may mean extra effort up front but the long-term benefits are clear so if you change your mind (about requiring certain levels of experience), they’ll be first in line. Take a chance!

About the Author

Maddy O'Rourke

Maddy O’Rourke, Finance & Human Resource Specialist

Maddy knows the ins and outs of a successful recruiting and onboarding process playing an indispensable role in helping Alaant build its very own team. Perhaps it’s her love for sports—an enthusiastic Siena Saints and Buffalo Bills fan— that helps her with team building or her interests in other cultures as she loves to travel and is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland. The Emerald Isle holds a piece of her heart and so does her cat, Zoe.

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