By Arielle Sandor
Are you hiring a candidate for their potential or their hiring experience?
This question is an important one to ask yourself before you even start the hiring process.
You have already decided that you need to hire someone. You are completely over your head in work and realize that you don’t have the skills to handle various tasks. Maybe it is someone to handle your PR with a background in communications, or maybe someone to analyze your raw data for reporting purposes.
Now you need to assess the situation to decide what type of candidate you want – someone who seems very promising, or someone who will bring experience.
This is a tricky question, especially when hiring in Kenya.
Many studies and interviews with top corporations make it seem as if the Kenyan labor market is full of youth with promising potential, but who lack the practical skills your job will require.
That being said, I would argue that there is a huge pool of experienced labor at other jobs looking for a new challenge or a pay raise. Sometimes it is more difficult to find these candidates, but thankfully there are now recruiting services, such as Duma Works to help you with that.
Now you should think about if you hire someone with promise, how much time and capacity you have to train them. Someone with promise often needs direction and guidance to reach their full potential. Do you have the heart and time to do this? If you don’t, do you have a manager you does? Do you have knowledge about other resources you can provide? Often these are free and you can find them simply through Google. There are blogging courses, social media courses, coding academies and more.
The other thing to think about is how fast you need to get something done. Now, when you’re running a company or a department, you always need things yesterday (trust me, I know that from working in a recruiting company…). So don’t confuse this sense of urgency with actually needing something immediately. For example, you are running out of money and need someone to revamp your entire sales process. You probably want someone with experience to make you money extremely quickly.
The last thing to consider is always the person themselves. There are different levels of “promising” candidates. Some have a natural ability in operations and structuring processes. Others are super creative but need time to settle into a more regimented structure.
Think about your specific needs and what long-term strategy you have for this position.
Never walk into the recruiting process expecting to settle. Write out the day-to-day duties of this hire and the strengths they need to already come with. Then, you can write your job description and put it out into the world.
If you are thinking of hiring and would like to chat with us to discuss this promise vs. experience challenge, email us at [email protected] and we’ll set something up.
As always, happy hiring!