Why does it seem that recruiters and hiring managers only have eyes for perfect candidates? After an evolution of the working environment that would make Charles Darwin smile from ear to ear, it’s surprising to see that these practices are still in place. While finding a perfect match to the skills and experiences you desire may be preferred, going with the riskier choice comes with some advantages.
Companies like Zappos have shown us the power of the “hire for attitude and train for skill” approach. By hiring a person with less direct experience, you are bringing in an unbiased candidate who can objectively look at existing processes and problems, and give a new perspective on them. This can lead to new ideas, solutions, innovations, and improvements. Look at it as an injection of new oil into an old machine.
Hiring candidates with less than perfect credentials can also lead to loyal and determined employees. The smart candidate will recognize your willingness to take a chance on them when other employers refused. Your risk will in turn be rewarded with employees that stay longer and work harder. Also, less-experienced candidates typically cost less than their experienced counterparts, and will have far fewer offers for you to compete against.
As a recruiter or hiring manager it is important to remember that as business is rapidly changing, experience is losing value. You need to be looking for flexible candidates who can adapt to the ever-changing business landscape. If you are still stuck in your old ways, then I invite you to take a look at the resumes of Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. Notice that neither of these two moguls had prior experience as a CEO, but were still able to change the game.