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Hot Hot Hiring Hint from Mel Kleiman: Experience Wanted?


Skim through the help wanted section of your local paper and you’ll find that about 95% of the ads have one word in common:

“Starting wages based on experience…” “Looking for experienced, energetic servers and kitchen staff...” “We are currently seeking an experienced office assistant…”

Why is it that experience is so often our No. 1 criteria? Because we assume an experienced person will require less training and be able to get up to speed faster.

The problem with this assumption is that just because a person has done a certain type of work before doesn’t mean he or she is necessarily good at it or even likes doing it.

Many people fall into jobs or a career path and, over time, become skilled at them. However, when you look at the top people in any trade or profession, what sets them apart is talent. Their innate ability or that internal motivation that makes them what we call a “natural.”

Some people are motivated to help others and they make great office assistants, retail clerks, and health care workers. Some people are born optimists and are gifted with persistence and the power of persuasion; they’re great salespeople. Others are good with their hands and enjoy making things - perfect for manufacturing, assembly lines, and the building trades.

Skills, the how to’s of any job, can be taught. Start hiring for talent instead and you’ll create a real competitive edge.

If you have a hiring or interviewing question that you would be willing to share with our readers, please send it to mel@melkleiman.com. If your question becomes a topic for Hiring Hints you will receive a free copy of 267 Hire Tough Interview Questions.