Hiring for experience only? 4 reasons why you’re missing out

December 12, 2016
A picture of a dark-haired woman sitting and smiling with a text overlay that reads hiring for experience only? 4 reasons why you're missing out.

In the healthcare industry, it’s vital to find candidates who have the skills you need. However, employers sometimes make the mistake of equating skills with previous experience. If the candidate has done the job before, he or she must be qualified to do the job again, right?

Well, sometimes. But if you hire based only on previous experience, you may be missing bright new talent and cutting your search off at the knees.

Here’s why you should also focus on recent graduates and other candidates who may not have as much direct experience.

1. Experience doesn’t guarantee expertise.

It’s certainly one factor used to measure expertise, but experienced employees are not necessarily the best employees. They may have picked up bad habits in a previous workplace or simply avoided making waves enough to stick around. That doesn’t mean you should ignore experience completely, but if it’s all you base your hiring practices on, you may end up with a few duds—while great potential candidates could walk away and never look back.

2. Recent training means up-to-date skills.

Sometimes employers hesitate in hiring recent graduates, which means they potentially lose out on much-needed skills. Think about it: The healthcare industry has changed drastically just in the last five years. As we develop interoperability among electronic healthcare records and continue turning to the Internet of Things for healthcare, the landscape will shift even more. Having technologically literate employees who recently went through relevant training can be a boon for your office or facility.

3. You may overlook candidates with great potential, smarts and soft skills.

Here’s the truth: as long as employees have the necessary training, their success has little to do with previous experience. Instead, it’s about their ability to be good employees. Do they have the soft skills necessary to develop open communication with patients? Do they have the intelligence to adapt quickly to new procedures and processes? Do they have the potential to be a good fit for your culture and your team? These qualities are a better determination of success than whether they have three years of experience or four.

4. You get the chance to create your perfect candidate.

If you follow the step above and focus on hiring a candidate with brains, potential and soft skills, then you’ll have the chance to build his or her habits and skills from the ground up. You can offer development and training in areas that are valuable to your office or facility. It’s a bigger investment than slotting in a seasoned employee, but your investment will pay off in the form of a great employee tailor-made for your operation. And the more you invest in your employees’ future and success, the more likely they are to stay with you—thereby improving retention.


With these four tips, you can hopefully adjust your hiring strategy to avoid hiring based on experience alone. While experience builds skillsets and develops talent, it is not the only measure of a valuable employee. Be on the lookout for bright, eager new candidates who will bring fresh ideas and dedication to your facility.

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