Is Industry Experience Overrated in Hiring Decisions?

By Rich Bond

When my clients layout their recruiting parameters, industry experience is usually at or near the top of their list.

This is a shame because this requirement limits the talent pool unnecessarily. Industry experience, in my experience, is only a factor for the first two or three months that someone is in a job. After that, it becomes irrelevant.

Having been a hiring manager and a recruiter for over 40 years, I find that ACCOMPLISHMENTS are far more important indicators of success than specific experience.

The most successful placement I ever made was a pricing person at a packaging company, who had NO industry experience. He helped the company add over $100 million/year to the bottom line, which resulted in the company stock price more than TRIPLING.

When I recruited this candidate, he was working as a consultant and had been successful helping companies improve their bottom lines, which was far more important than any industry experience in packaging.

If you have hired too many candidates who “checked all the boxes” but didn’t add value or weren’t promotable, I would love to talk to you about our 5-step process – Smarter Search – that we developed to help our clients hire and retain individuals who help grow their bottom lines.

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