Hiring an inexperienced employee may seem to be risky, but it can help a company grow in ways that would not be possible if you only hired very experienced employees for the long term. Past experience plays a key role in how well and quickly an employee will adapt to a new company’s culture, office politics, and work procedures. But when a fresh face walks into an office without any knowledge at all of corporate America, it can have a surprising impact. In every company, there are procedures that must be followed and politics that must be played in order for staff members to get where they want to be. Having an inexperienced person in the office can sometimes circumvent this long, drawn-out practice that some might call terrible and ineffective when it comes to reaching business success.

Hiring the inexperienced can provide some unexpected dividends.

Passion may trump experience

When someone is fresh out of college, the passion he or she has for the field will be extraordinary. These candidates won’t be run down from working in a corporate setting, and they’ll be highly energized and want to do the best work possible. These are the types of employees that will come in early and stay late, just to accomplish the business objectives set forth by their superior. They’ll generally go above and beyond because the passion they have for their field will be fresh. Those who have worked in the same department, doing the same tasks, experiencing the same everything for ten years or more won’t have the same eagerness to perform at the level of a new employee who has no experience.

Less experience means more innovation

It’s common knowledge that new generations entering the workforce often have new ideas that will revolutionize the space. Companies like Facebook, Dropbox, and even some smaller HR technology companies are being run by those who are either a few years out of college or in some cases have dropped out completely and have no prior experience in running a company. This is because the ideas and drive these individuals have is at an all-time high. Hiring the inexperienced might mean you have to teach them procedures, but they’ll be able to come up with new ideas on how to change your business for the better.

Inexperience means you can mold the employee

Once employees have been working in the same industry for a long time, they tend to get set in their ways. This makes it difficult for a company to encourage these employees to change or grow with the company. A new, inexperienced employee is like a piece of clay that you can mold and shape to adapt to new company expansion and initiatives.

The benefits of hiring the inexperienced are numerous, and you can almost always build a strong business case for hiring them. Whether its that they work harder, they’re more innovative, you can pay them less, and they don’t have families (generally), or that you can easily mold them into the kind of employee you want are just a few. Depending on the skills needed for the position you’re hiring for, it can be a very good move to hire an inexperienced new hire, and that person may have a bigger impact on your entire office than you might think possible.

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.

7 Comments

  • Avatar Nicole Dune says:

    It is a very interesting topic that you’ve discussed. I never thought of this when I recruited staff for certain companies. But I think you are absolutely right! A new person in the company can be a breath of fresh air! And sometimes the fact that he or she does not have enough experience may prove to be beneficial to the company. They have not yet learned certain errors and routines.

  • Avatar Kailyn says:

    In your article you have scored very well on the advantages of hiring an inexperienced person. I would have found it more interesting if you had written a list of advantages and disadvantages. This way, you could have approached this topic from both angles and maybe some employers would have better understood your message. Congratulations on the chosen theme!

  • Avatar Nena says:

    We’ve all heard the phrase: “No – it’s always been done this way!”
    How refreshing to hear: “could we try this way?”
    If such person does not get killed with the first phrase – you get incredible ideas available. Some pass, some do not, but in any case it is a lot.
    Employers rarely understand the advantage of this …

  • Avatar Wilton says:

    I think the biggest advantage an employer has when he hires a person without experience is that he or she can shape the new employee as desired. A young person without experience is just like a lump of modeling clay that can be shaped! In this case the company policy, the organizational culture, the internal rules, etc. will not be in conflict with the value system of the new employee. Basically, he or she will be like a blank slate, and the employer will form him or her exactly in the image of the company.

  • Avatar Jessica Green says:

    I think there are some disadvantages when you choose to hire people without experience. It is possible that a young person who has never worked in a company would have difficulty trying to become part of the group and meet all of the job requirements. On the other hand, if there is a big age difference between the new employee and his colleagues, there may be conflicts between generations, and “veterans” might show resistance and even hostility.

  • Avatar Manuelalep says:

    Your information is really fascinating.

  • Avatar Susan Dingle says:

    As an inexperienced person in my desired career field, I would love to find an employer who was willing to hired an inexperienced person–me! At a practical level, however, if an employer advertises a position, the employer typically must include desired or required experience–kinds and amounts. If the employer states that several years’ experience is required, it can be difficult, to irregular, to illegal to turn around and hire someone with less than the required amount of experience. There may be ways to get around this, such as not having an advertised position, but being on the lookout for possible additions to staff who show the requisite passion, good fit, potential, and ability. This approach to recruiting can work in small businesses, nonpublic/nongovernment organizations, unregulated industries. Even so, to make it work to hire an inexperienced person, the employer must be prepared to spend more time training and bringing the inexperienced new staffer on board. Company culture needs to embrace the insights and contributions of the inexperienced, and there need to be strong mentoring and onboarding programs to help the inexperienced person succeed and get up to speed in the position.

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