Do I get hired for experience or knowledge?
It is now a trend for companies to advertise their vacancies by only stating the experience needed for the job, leaving out the skills and competencies needed for the job. Is that the new normal in terms of how the job market recruits employees in Botswana? So now it is a question of whether employers look at the knowledge or experience when recruiting a new employee. Would an inexperienced person not get the job even if they are knowledgeable and skilful in the field they applied for? Who is better to perform the job between an experienced person and a knowledgeable one? Do we really need to choose?Kabo Motsumi of FLEMING ASSET MANAGEMENT explained in an interview that recruitment of new employees depends on the need of the company or the business, and that is what guides the decision or choice of the candidate to be recruited. The company may want to recruit an experienced person for a particular job that is not best suited for an inexperienced candidate; like if a company wants a research manager a fresh graduate would do that best without experience in the field but when the company needs a resource manager, the job needs an experienced person in that position.
Furthermore, Motsumi elaborated on the problems they face with experienced and inexperienced people in the work place. He said that experienced people are often resistant to change in a business world that is dynamic. They also tend to not understand the evolving things in their industry, these two points may lead to their work being of low quality and misleading. On the other hand fresh graduates tend to view trends and ideas or suggest ideas that are not practical in today’s world. “Textbook based views and ideas that are not practical,” Motsumi emphasised. He says there is a need to strike between the two, experience and knowledge. If one needs a job, he said, they need to first get a qualification to give them the knowledge and skills for the job, and secondly, have the personality for the job and then get experience. By personality, he meant that the candidate has to have an adaptable personality that enables them to work well in different environments, with clients of different cultures and the employee needs to make a great impression when working with clients and even their colleagues at work.
Motsumi came up with 7 tips to use for one to get hired easily when going to apply for a job; Establish early what you want to do; Have a plan of first contact with the business people; Sell yourself as a valuable resource; Go on internship before graduation; Go on trainee programmes; Position yourself in the industry; Make yourself competitive.
If you are knowledgeable and skilful but you don’t have experience like most fresh graduates, you still have a chance of being hired even though it may take one going an extra mile or working for no payment to acquire work experience and more skills. Experience can go as far as understanding the job environment and having acquired skills of the work but the requirements needed mostly are qualifications, which you as a graduate have. Keep trying to find your position in the market and focus on attaining it. Have the personality to find your job and keep your job by being adjustable and determined.