How much experience a prospective job seeker needs is an age old hiring question, and can have a not so insignificant impact on a company’s finances. Training versus experience can have different financial, tax, benefits, and social considerations in a new employee.
There’s a lot for hiring managers to consider. There is more to hiring experienced employees than lower training costs, and there’s more to hiring inexperienced employees than lower salary expenses. There is no one better option, but each has its own subtleties that makes it better for certain situations.
Hiring Candidates for Experience
A number of companies prefer to hire people who already possess the proficiencies to perform their jobs without the need for additional training. It’s easy to see time spent training as “wasted” compared to hiring an experienced candidate who can start contributing immediately, especially when a high level or critical position opens up unexpectedly. On the other hand, they tend to expect much higher wages and better non-wage compensation than other applicants, which offsets the cost of training new employees.
It’s important to keep in mind that experienced workers have been trained by other companies. It’s still important to include training with company specific procedures in the onboarding process, because there will undoubtedly be some differences. If an employee is slow to adjust, this can cost time and cause unexpected headaches.
In addition, people are not always honest about the breadth of their experience. Sometimes the research can’t predict this, and someone will turn out to need unexpected training, or worse, may need to be let go, starting the hiring process all over again.
Some positions absolutely require experienced and seasoned employees, and they come with a number of advantages. On the other hand, hiring inexperienced people who need to be trained shouldn’t be discounted for the most basic and mundane entry level positions.
Hiring Candidates With Potential, Who Need Training
Less experienced candidates often come with lower salary and benefits expectations, which is an alternate financial consideration for businesses. This is certainly offset by the cost of training, and the lack of bottom line productivity during training, but depending on the state, there are a number of government sponsored aids and tax breaks for employee training initiatives.
For managers, while training takes up a lot of time, these employees can often be easier to integrate into the company. Less experienced employees are unlikely to have learned practices that are counter-productive in a new environment, and are less likely to upset current team dynamics.
Hiring these candidates also generates a sense of loyalty. When given the opportunity to grow and advance, an employee feels valued from the start, whereas experienced candidates, while not disloyal, may require a lot of additional effort to retain. Some groups, such as veterans, may need a great deal of help adjusting to a new career and picking up a new skill set, but with the right training their loyalty and work ethic pay back in droves.
In Either Case, Training Should Be Ongoing
Ongoing training, even for experienced employees, is a vital part of a competitive business. The explosion of technology and technological solutions to problems, increasingly diverse workforces and audiences, and the decline of entry level training ground companies are just some reasons that training is becoming increasingly necessary. Whether you primarily target experienced or entry-level employees will depend greatly on the organization of your company culture, but training should never go away.
A culture that prioritizes training and learning doesn’t just help employees stay competitive in their field, it demonstrably increases profitability, according to Firm of the Future. Training employees in IT skills, leadership, and even letting them carve out niches that they’re passionate about to direct their own training makes an organization more efficient, makes employees happier, and leads to more productive use of time all around.
Ongoing training is a huge part of retaining and engaging employees of all skill levels, as well as getting them to “buy in” to the company culture and mission. So Whether you’re hiring an experienced professional who has all the technical skills they need, or a wet-around-the-ears millennial who needs a lot of guidance, make training not just part of your hiring process, but part of your incentive package for all employees.