Why Is Work Experience So Important To Hiring Managers?
The phrase work experience usually brings to mind work experience placements put in place by schools and colleges. Of course, these programmes are a great introduction to the working world. That aside, there are other times in our working life, where landing a work experience opportunity may become necessary. But why is work experience so important to career advancement?
Another scenario where we might look for work experience is when we decide to change careers. It used to be the case that after leaving full-time education, we followed a chosen career path, until we reached retirement age.
However, a job for life is no longer the norm. These days, most of us can expect to change careers several times throughout our working lives.
Why do People Change Jobs?
Nowadays, people often find themselves limited by their chosen careers and as a result, seek out alternative options. Below are a few examples of why people might consider a career change:
- Their line of work becomes obsolete due to advances in technology
- On the flipside, advances in technology can create exciting new career opportunities
- Changes in consumer habits lead to a shortage of jobs in specific sectors
- The employment landscape may change during the time it takes to raise a family
- Lack of career progression opportunities
- To earn a higher salary
- Sometimes people get bored and need a new challenge
- Or a vast number of people might lose their jobs during such bizarre circumstances as a global pandemic
Three Main Reasons Why Work Experience Is So Important
No matter what the reason for having a change of career direction, it is necessary to demonstrate previous work experience to a prospective hiring manager. We explore the most common reasons managers give for wanting to hire candidates with previous experience.
To Show Your Commitment
The main reason why experience is so important to hiring managers is that a company invests a great deal of time and resources when hiring a new employee. Firstly, there are the hiring costs such as job board advertising fees and the wages of HR professionals who process job applications.
Then how about the interview panel who take time out of their busy schedules? The business must also account for their wages and any loss of earnings the business suffers while crucial employees are interviewing.
Lastly, there are the onboarding costs associated with employing a new member of staff, such as administration and training.
These costs can run into several thousand pounds per new employee, depending on the nature of the business. No manager wants to waste such valuable time and resources in training someone to do a job, only to find out that they don’t like it and leave within a short time. Such a mistake could cost a business thousands of pounds. This is why a lack of experience presents such a huge risk to a business.
A piece of paper proving a graduate’s level of knowledge is rarely enough to convince an employer of their ability to do a future job. Soft skills such as the ability to mentor other team members or stay calm during a conflict are not skills that can be acquired by sitting exams.
It is for this reason why corporate giants offer graduate programmes and work shadowing programs to encourage young people and high achievers to get a foot in the door at their company. Only once completing the programme would their application be considered for a permanent position within the business.
The most apparent reason hiring managers ask about previous work experience is for reassurance of an individual’s ability to do a job. If someone works in a given position for a certain length of time, they will likely garner a particular set of skills.
For example, potential employers might be willing to consider a First-Line Support Technician a Second Line Support job. However, the same individual might have to organise a voluntary work placement before they receive any paid work as a Junior Project Manager.
Within the Adria team, there is not a single one of us who has not had a career change at some point. For example, our directors both started out as biologists. Our Marketing Manager used to design shoes, and one of our consultants has changed jobs seven times!
We are proud to say that we often help people make the most of their experience to move into a career in tech. Of course, we would never disclose the identity of our candidates but here’s a recent example.
During the coronavirus outbreak, one of the roles proving most challenging to fill is Technical Support. A young lady applied for the position; we’ll call her Katie. Sadly, due to the coronavirus, Katie was recently made redundant from her job in retail.
Although she had no technical experience, her customer service skills and a strong desire to learn were enough to impress our client. We are happy to say that Katie has been offered, and subsequently accepted the role and is expecting to start very soon!
Unfortunately, many people will likely lose their jobs in the coming months. If you know someone in this situation, please share this article with them on social media. We can’t guarantee we can help everyone, but if they have the IT, Digital or Marketing skills we are looking for, we would be certainly willing to try!
Our next post looks at how to gain experience when you have no experience. Be sure to look out for it around the same time next week.