Reviews | Stop hiring based on work experience | Notice

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Applying for a job is a daunting and sometimes difficult process to maneuver, especially as a teenager or young adult with limited job search experience. Finding companies that are close and related to their interests is already a difficult task, but when employers go so far as to demand specific skills from their candidates, potential candidates may abandon the search.

As many students may know, applying for internships and jobs throughout your time in college is an important part of building a resume. Holding these positions provides vital experience in the job market and teaches students important skills to use after graduation. Since internships or related work experience have become expected for university graduates applying for full-time work, one would think that companies would offer these opportunities without barriers to interested students. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

If companies expect previous work experience from students who are just starting to explore their fields, where does that leave candidates? Many job postings explicitly require applicants to have experience in the field and be proficient in all related software and applications. This is simply not possible for young adults who may not have had a job, let alone one that coincides with their major. By placing these restrictions on their applications, companies ostracize interested parties.

Insurance Journal shared research done by Chad Van Iddekinge, professor of management at FSU. His research concluded that there are little or no correlation between having previous work experience and being successful in a new job in a similar field. He concludes that there are many better indicators of job performance, like asking personal questions rather than skill-based questions, that should be used instead.

Harvard Business Review said recruiters should have realistic expectations of their candidates. Some methods that may be more successful are pre-employment personality tests, interviews with more decision-making questions and research summaries of keywords and skills that match the values ​​of the company. Forbes noted that hiring inexperienced juniors often has positive results. Those who enter an environment that demands a lot of them will adapt and learn exactly what is expected of them, while at the same time those who have worked in the field for several years can become passive and difficult to reconnect for business needs.

These hiring methods can be successful because they attract strong candidates who are eager to learn and immerse themselves in a new and interesting field. Inexperienced hires who align with personality and value are much better investments than a more expensive hire that has become complacent over his years in the company. Students who have just graduated from college often have not had the time or opportunity to acquire skills and work experience, but this lack of experience does not equate to a lack of potential.

Dropping the required work experience for personal decision-making interviews, like asking what a candidate would bring to a desert island, will give recruiters insight into the character and hobbies of their candidates. Instead of listing the skills required, companies that use rigorous pre-testing to assess potential hires on their skills in the field have been able to narrow the pool of candidates without excluding anyone.

Candidate attitudes and interests are more indicative of success in a new profession than previous experience, and many companies have been successful in using strategies that target the individual candidate rather than excluding those who don’t fit the mold.

Liz Riccio is a junior media arts, design and psychology student. Contact Liz at [email protected]

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