Thursday, April 25, 2013

5 Steps to Hiring Inexperienced Candidates

There is a first time for everything. That includes hiring someone to do a job.

If you're lucky, you can find an employee who is well versed with whatever type of task you want them to perform. However, there is often the opportunity to hire an exceptional employee who doesn't have any experience related to your business.

But is it crazy to hire someone without experience?

You might discover that training a new employee from "the ground up" is the best way to get what you want out of that worker. In other words, they're not going to be approaching the job with any bad habits or preconceptions. They are a blank slate. And that can certainly work to your advantage.

Here are five steps to consider when hiring an employee without relevant experience:

Spell out what is expected.

Depending on the job, there might be a training manual or "to do list" approach to the job. This should spell out specifically what is required of that employee. If you need to, create a guide for an employee. It's always better to travel with a map as opposed to just a destination.

Enhance the skillsets.

There is a reason that you're considering hiring a person without experience. They've impressed you with their attitude, prior successes and possibly related skillsets. It has often been said that a good sales person can sell anything. Just because you're selling cars, but are hiring a top vacuum cleaner sales person, doesn't mean you won't come out on top. Play to that person's strengths and build on that.

Consider their complete resume.

Someone without a lot of experience on their resume could have other areas where they have excelled. These unique experiences can indicate how they'll perform on your team. For instance, a person who has spent a lot of time doing charity work could be a natural fit for customer service. Someone who was in the military will understand how to follow orders and have discipline. When it comes to resumes, go deep!

Put them to the test.

Captain Kirk was famous for reprogramming a "no-win" scenario test. He got a commendation for original thinking. You should try to find a way to put your prospective hire to the same kind of test. This doesn't mean building a starship simulator, but you can probably come up with a challenging test to see how they might problem solve. The best result would have them asking for help instead of trying to do something on their own and failing.

Put them on probation.

You're taking a risk by hiring a new employee without experience. They should know that up front. There is nothing wrong with putting that employee on a probationary period. Just don't make it a double-secret probation. They should know they are being watched and their job is on the line.