Recruiting the right team members is vital for any business, for small brands it can be a decisive factor in the growth & success of your brand – it’s important to surround yourself with people who are passionate about your ethos, and have the strengths to combat your weaknesses.

Does the ‘meme’ below look familiar? It’s been a popular topic among younger generations, who are looking to begin their career in their respective industries. But it isn’t as easy at it looks in the movies.

Many businesses require multiple years of experience, for seemingly entry-level roles, leaving job hunters puzzled on what to do next. But does talent triumph experience?

“Experience means leadership for now, Talent means leadership for the future.” – Ross Carlin

What’s the difference?

‘Raw Talent’ so to speak, is the ability to learn or acquire skills naturally and mastered quickly without much failure. Even without proper training or education, talented individuals can still perform up to the standard of experienced individuals, given the right amount of time and dedication.

Experience is the knowledge and understanding of a role that has been acquired from previous workplaces and potentially lengthy training, that will continue to develop as they face hands-on situations and are exposed to new events.

Finding the balance:

Sometimes it isn’t about finding an individual with ‘balanced’ levels of experience and talent. But instead, making sure you have the correct balance within your whole team and hiring the right people for the right job.

When to hire for experience:

Although it may seem an obvious selection, when recruiting for key management positions; it’s important to hire an individual who has experience, dealing with those levels of responsibilities and communication skills to effectively manage the rest of your team.

When to hire for talent:

Arguably the most common sector, for when talent can outweigh experience, are roles that centre around creativity and innovation. Team members with raw talent, can bring new ideas and direction to any business.

Common hiring pitfalls to avoid:

Types of experience

Although many people may have years of experience, what did they do during these years? Were they exceptional at their role or simply mediocre throughout their time? It’s important to look for candidates who both have a track record of success & knowledge. Do they have creative initiative, are they a cultural fit and are they motivated to working for your company specifically? Ask yourself these questions when hiring as these types of employees provide much more value in the long term

Rushing to hire

Hiring someone quickly without doing your research can be detrimental to your business. There can be a sense of urgency to hire an employee, especially if you have other staff covering the role, or a staff member potentially leaving. But by trying to speed through the process, you may miss vital information that could prove costly later. Try to set a realistic timeline to send out the job ad and go through the hiring process, creating yourself a checklist of mandatory & desirable points.

Creating a vague job description

It’s so important to make sure you accurately & honestly describe the job you are advertising. By having a vague, or unrealistic description, it means you are less likely to attract candidates with the qualities and abilities you’re looking for. This needs to be more than a simple list of roles & responsibilities; it needs to define the role’s overall purpose.

Describe the job accurately and honestly in your advertisement. If you don’t, you’ll less likely attract candidates with the qualities and abilities that you’re looking for. A good job description is more than a simple list of duties; it should describe the role in terms of its overall purpose and identify key areas of responsibility.

Our thoughts:

Founder & MD of The Good Food Group, Ross Carlin gave his thoughts on the topic:

“This is a dilemma which I constantly face and I guess you will only find out the hard way if taking the ‘risk’ on talent works. From my limited experience, I’d suggest that you need to have experience in the key positions within the business and these people need to have the ‘battle scars’ that you are expecting to experience as a business.

Understand and expecting the barriers that you will face, typically comes with experience and having this can certainly help to navigate or deviate the potential issues. This is where experience comes in handy.

I do believe that talent can often outwork experience and the future global business leaders are headlined as ‘talent’, so you absolutely have to be bringing in talent to support the growth of your future business. These people typically help to change the long-term direction and bring ideas to the table that can keep you ahead of the curve.”

For more discussions on all things retail, check out our other blogs.