When does it make more sense to hire a new college grad or someone with less experience versus someone with years of experience in the exact industry and work space you’re in? For discussion purposes, let’s say each individual is equal on characteristics, motivation and personality. Nine out of ten, or ten out of ten times we all would choose the more experienced candidate. However, someone who hasn’t “done it all”, who doesn’t have the exact experience in the same industry, may be the better choice. This person brings a fresh perspective and has no preconceived ideas of what does or doesn’t work. The slate is clean.
The less experienced person truly can “see the trees from the forest.” Individuals who come from a different background bring a different perspective. Also, the new professional is excited about all the knowledge they recently learned and are apt to use it and apply it.
This logic also applies to those who have been out of the workforce for some time. Perhaps a returning stay-at-home mom (and in a few cases the stay-at-home dad) who though not working for maybe 5, or 10 or even more years, brings a fresh outlook to a situation and is psyched to make an impact.
Here’s a personal experience that should drive this home. Years ago, I had a back issue. I had gone to physical therapists and chiropractors as well as massage therapists. No one could diagnose the problem, knew how to ease the discomfort or explored my background and history. Finally, I went to a new massage therapist who had graduated massage school within the past year. I told her the issues I had and she asked me a lot of questions. She thought about how to help me, pulling out her textbooks and looking at skeleton and muscular diagrams. She figured out what was causing my back pain and how to relieve it. She solved the mystery, because for her it was a personal challenge – a way to apply what she learned – to use her knowledge.
Sometimes, as we gain experience, we forget to get back to the basics, or to review foundational concepts we learned a long time ago. It’s important to remember what a less experienced person can bring to a job. And just as important, we need to instill a fresh perspective for ourselves, and for our staff, to be open to new ideas, to think creatively, to explore old and new with excitement so we don't get stale.