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Experienced Hires

Thursday 22nd July

Experienced Hires

What is an experienced hire?

You guessed it – an experienced hire is someone who has experience working in the role you’re hiring for. Ever seen a job ad that asked for three, five, ten years’ experience in a certain role, or field? They’re looking for experienced hires.

The benefits of experienced hires over graduates

Right mix of experience & energy

Grads might have all the youthful enthusiasm in the world, but they’ll rarely bring any experience to the table. On the other hand, anyone who’s been in their field for 3-15 years will often offer the same enthusiasm, the same energy, paired with useful knowledge that they’re keen to contribute. 

They know what they like

Graduates are invariably young, and it’s often fair to say that their first job won’t be their ideal job for life. In fact, they might decide that, a week into it, they’re in the wrong company, wrong sector, or wrong field entirely!

With experienced hires, that’s less of an issue. They’ve spent time in their industry, they know what they want, and they’re well on their way down the career path they’ve chosen. This makes turnover less likely.

Hitting the ground running 

Everyone takes time to settle into a new role. But, as any line manager will tell you, graduates take just that little bit more hand-holding. Crucially, they don’t know what they don’t know. 

Again, less of a problem with experienced hires. They’ve got the knowledge to make an impact sooner than their younger peers, and are often more self-aware when it comes to gaps in their expertise.   

The drawbacks of experienced hires

Experience & future potential

Academic research shows that there’s no link between past experience and future performance. So an experienced hire isn’t guaranteed to be a successful one.

While not immediately a ‘drawback’, necessarily, it’s worth noting that experienced hires aren’t a silver bullet for your teams. This is partly because they’ll have adjusted to certain ways of working in their past companies, which then make it harder to adapt and fulfil their potential elsewhere. Compare that to a grad, who joins with no prior baggage, and can be moulded from scratch to reach their potential.

Cultural fit

Experienced hires will have come up in different cultures, and will have learnt some behaviours that help them thrive there. But these might not be your behaviours. They may not suit your culture. So, with experienced candidates, you’ll always need to consider how long these behaviours will take to shed – or if that’s even possible.


Then there’s the elephant in the room – salary. Experienced hires naturally cost more, but do they actually bring more value? As we’ve touched on in our entry on graduate recruitment, the return on investment from hiring grads is often high. With the above challenges in mind, this may not always be the case for experienced hires.

Where Arctic shores fit into experienced hires

As we’ve mentioned, one of the biggest challenges with making experienced hires is guaranteeing cultural fit. While there may be some learned behaviours to break with, cultural fit is most often defined by people’s natural behaviour. How they intuitively behave, especially under stress. This can be very hard to measure. 

That’s where we come in. Our behaviour-based assessment does what it says on the tin – measures your experienced candidates’ natural behaviour, and maps it to those that make up your unique company culture. Represented in just one number, their Fit Score, that insight instantly tells you whether they’ll take to your culture like a duck to water – or, perhaps, slightly less smoothly.

Research shows that poor cultural fit can increase turnover, costing up to 60% of an employee’s annual salary. If you want teams that stick, let’s talk about how our psychometric assessment can help measure cultural fit in your experienced hires. Click here, and let’s chat.

Download our Playbook for CV-less hiring to find out how hiring for potential can transform your hiring process.

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