Experience vs. Potential — What Does Your Company Need in a New Hire?

Experience vs. Potential — What Does Your Company Need in a New Hire?


Finding someone who can get the job done is important, but you need an employee with more than just the right skills. You will receive applications that range from incompetent to completely outstanding. Brushing aside those that don’t meet your qualifications, you need to decide from the remaining applications what is more important to your company: an experienced staff member or one with a great deal of potential.


Experienced applicants may seem like the obvious choice, since they have often proved themselves through their prior work history. They have the skills, knowledge and references to get the job done, and they are often a safe bet. However, does your company need someone who is going to continue doing the job the same as they did somewhere else? With experience comes set-in habits and tendencies that may not apply to the current marketplace or where you want your company to go in the future.


Hiring someone with more potential than experience can be riskier, but the rewards can be greater. A recent college graduate can bring a new way of looking at your company’s position that an experienced professional may not be able to see. Less experienced, high potential candidates may be more familiar with newer technologies, which can be a definite bonus. These candidates can also find it easier to adapt to your company’s way of operating, whereas a more experienced candidate may find it hard to adjust if your practices are different than others in your industry.


High potential candidates that will be a success often have something that makes them stand out as exemplary, not just a high GPA. However, some positions are really only suited for experienced employees, such as training positions or highly specialized jobs.

If you need help determining the best needs for your company’s open position, call Sequoia Personnel Services Inc. and our experienced staff can help you find the best solution.

The information provided in this blog is intended for general information purposes only. Readers should seek the help of an HR professional for guidance on specific issues.