Talent & Passion vs. Experience

Talent & Passion vs. Experience

Matthew WeinrichBy Matthew Weinrich | I have been in the recruiting industry since 2006.  My time with Sutherland started in October 2013 as a Sourcing Solutions Specialist.  In that role I took on the handling all of our job postings, leading a weekly sourcing meeting and working closely with recruiters to help them reach their targets.  In December 2014 I was promoted to Team Lead – Shared Services.  In my new role, I lead a team of 3 in Jamaica and 2 in Rochester as well as oversee our job postings.  I am originally from Toledo, OH and moved to Rochester, NY following my then girlfriend, now wife.  I am often referred to as Mother Theresa in the HIVE…

Next time you have an open requisition and have to make the next candidate profile, ask yourself who you really want working for you.  Do you want experience or do you want talent?  Most of the time you cannot get both.

Is the assumption true that people with more experience and expertise will do a better job? Or do people with drive and passion surpass them with their talent?

As a recruiter, I have had my battles with finding that delicate balance in a candidate.  Many hiring managers will list years of experience as the number one attribute they need in a candidate and will hold firm on that; I find this approach outdated.  Many times I have submitted a candidate who is stellar and eager to throw their passion into the position only to have them tossed aside because they do not have the number of years of experience.  The sad fact is there are some qualities that you just can’t teach, and talent and passion are two of them.

What makes the perfect candidate? Talent coupled with years of experience. But remember, those candidates are the most sought after. With so many choices, they will likely demand a higher pay.

Talent and passion are two of the most overlooked qualities of a candidate during the search and interview process.  Why is that?  Can you imagine if the NFL or any other sport picked their players this way?  It wouldn’t make sense to have a team of experienced players that might lack the passion to be successful in their career.

Skills and experience are important attributes that should be considered, but talent and passion are even more vital to real job performance success and should be given greater weight.

The next time you are placing that tall order for a candidate, ask yourself: who do you really want on your team?  Sure, in the short term, experience will trump talent.  But in the long term, talent always wins.

This is only my favored method of qualifying candidates.  This is not to say that the opposite can’t be true.  Sometimes, candidates with the identified experience got to where they are with talent and passion.  Experience needs to be viewed as a positive attribute and those candidates need to be taken into consideration as well.  As I mentioned earlier, it’s identifying that balance between experience and talent that will make your recruiting efforts successful!

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