The job interview | What to choose: experience or potential?

The job interview | What to choose: experience or potential?

The job interview is typically the first introduction a candidate has with the hiring manager of any facility as well as it’s organizational culture. A recruiter or manager will always look for a candidate with the skills and experience matching the job requirements. Additionally, the candidate’s ability to integrate into a new work environment and adapt quickly is also important.

But what happens when a candidate shows potential but lacks experience? What is the best choice a manager can make? It’s a challenge for many employers, both in healthcare and in any other industry. Many may find themselves at a standstill unable to decide: experience or potential?

In today’s fast-paced culture, knowledge has unprecedented dynamics. For this reason, continuous learning and development play such an important role. Professionals in any field must constantly be up-to-date on the latest and greatest industry developments. Constant learning is even more critical in the medical field, where new studies and research are continually released. This impacts a medical specialist’s ability to offer the best treatment to patients. 

Aside from a candidate’s experience and potential, a manager looks at other aspects when considering a candidate. For example, not only specific skills and procedures, but also adaptability, composure, and change management could be important factors.

Read also: Top 8 reasons why medical specialists leave employers

Knowledge and Skills

Before we get to the experience or potential of the candidates, we must note that today’s recruitment ads place a lot of emphasis on the skills side. There are two main classes of skills and knowledge that a recruiter values.

First and foremost, a recruitment specialist will be interested in a candidate’s core skills and knowledge, which in fact, represent the foundation on which any field of knowledge is built. Next, it is about the knowledge accumulated over time during years of study and practice. In this case, we are also talking about a legal requirement; medicine cannot be practiced by a person who has not completed some specialized studies. Then, depending on the job requirements, the recruiter focuses on the specific skills and knowledge, beyond the basic ones, needed to perform specialized tasks.

In most cases, things get pretty complicated for a recruiter or a manager when they are put in the position of choosing between candidates on equal footing. For example, when applying for a role in the medical field with specific requirements, all candidates likely possess the necessary skills and specializations. Under these conditions, who is the best candidate, one with experience or potential?

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Recruitment based on experience – advantages, and disadvantages

When we talk about an experienced candidate, we mean a person who already has a professional history in the field and knows very well what he has to do in the position he is to be hired. Really, who wouldn’t want such an employee?!

Things are not that simple, however, as candidates in this category are becoming rarer and more expensive. An experienced candidate knows he can get a job anywhere, both at home and abroad. Under these conditions, he will not hesitate to ask for a high salary and specify what extra-salary benefits he wants.

With experience, such an employee will have more autonomy and independence. Thus, he will not have to be taught and guided in what he has to do; he will not have to be supervised, and so on. He will only need a little time to integrate into the new team, after which he will be on his feet. Under these conditions, such an employee will quickly become much more productive than an employee who needs to be trained.

Moreover, an experienced specialist will always convey more confidence to patients, thus contributing to the clinic’s success. If it is a household name, it will even be able to attract new customers and help build a strong brand.

However, certain disadvantages can be observed in the case of experienced candidates. Some people will prove to be inflexible and unapproachable enough that they do not want to step out of their comfort zone and adapt to the new working reality. 

There are also those cases where a highly skilled and experienced candidate may not be the best choice. This happens when we have over-qualified candidates who have more experience than is necessary for a specific position, set very high goals, and have very high expectations from the institution where they will be employed. Although he may appear very enthusiastic about the job he is about to take, over time, he will be demotivated by tasks below his level of competence. Eventually, there is a risk that he will feel that he has reached his limit and will look for a new project.

Potential-based recruitment – ​​advantages and disadvantages

In recruiting, a candidate is said to have potential when they demonstrate the ability to adapt and learn on the fly, quickly achieving notable performance despite being early adopters. Thus, there is clear room for further development and evolution of the candidate to an even higher level.

There are, therefore, essential advantages even when talking about a candidate with less or perhaps no experience. Lack of knowledge can be compensated by the desire to learn and evolve. In addition, motivation is generally powerful for an inexperienced candidate who wants to show that they can. With a positive mindset, such a candidate will try to prove his knowledge and get where he wants to be professional. For most managers, the fact that a candidate does not know something is not necessarily a vulnerability; the most important thing is that the person wants to learn, develop and improve himself.

However, the employer must know that he will be obliged to invest in such an employee in financial resources and time. This aspect is problematic if we are talking about a clinic that does not have the time or resources to train an employee.

You might like also: 4 management healthcare trends that you cannot miss to improve your team performance

Conclusion: experience or potential?

In most cases, the answer to this question is provided by the economic and emergency factors presented by the employer. If the employer urgently needs an employee for a particular specialist position, then it goes without saying that those applying for that position must have experience. In addition, the employer must be prepared to pay a higher salary or offer extra-salary benefits to attract a valuable candidate.

However, the employer must be aware that he will be obliged to invest in such an employee in financial resources and time. This aspect is problematic if we are talking about a clinic that does not have the time or resources to train an employee.

The math behind a company’s hire can be relatively straightforward, considering the aspects presented in the previous lines. If the salary and fringe benefits offered are offset by increased employee productivity, it is clear that they are worth paying to hire a highly experienced candidate.

The potential is especially sought after by those medical clinic managers who want to build a talent base, ready for whatever the future brings in this field.

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