When it comes to making that new hire, should you opt for someone who is seasoned and experienced in their field, or a brand spanking new trainee? The tendency is to think that experienced hires are always the best choice. But in some cases, we would say the opposite is true and that an inexperienced person would make for a better hire. In reality, it’s not so black and white. Both have their pros and cons, and it varies depending on your organisation's circumstances and the role in question.
So let’s dive in and take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of skilled vs trainee workers.
Without a doubt, experienced hires are able to hit the ground running much quicker in their new role than a trainee, who could take months (or even years) to learn the ropes. If the role is somewhat urgent and training would take too long to complete, an experienced hire is a better option.
Experienced hires bring a wealth of experience and knowledge with them, which in itself is a valuable asset. They may be able to offer new insights and ideas to your company that they’ve picked up over the course of their career.
Hiring experienced people has the advantage of opening up your business to an entirely new network of contacts. If you’re hiring for a people-oriented position, such as in sales, hiring somebody with a strong network is a huge advantage!
One downside to hiring an experienced person is that they may have picked up bad habits that are hard to shake, or perhaps they’re set in their ways on certain tasks and are less open to learning new ways of doing things. In the interview stage, you’ll want to see them show a willingness to learn and admit mistakes. If not, this could be an indicator that they’re going to be difficult to integrate into your company.
Hiring a skilled worker can be a great idea, but in practice, it may be harder than you think. Often, there’s a real shortage of skilled workers, particularly in certain industries. These workers are often very well looked after by their employer and aren’t in a hurry to jump ship any time soon. This is when opting for a trainee may be a better option.
Naturally, people with more experience are going to earn a higher salary. And that can be costly! If your company’s running a tight budget, it may be worth taking on a Trainee instead.
Trainees have that zest to impress and prove themselves, often showing up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Sometimes you end up getting more out of your Trainee than you would an experienced person. Not being experienced brings the advantage of making the employee hungrier to earn their name in the industry!
The beauty of Trainees is that they usually know next to nothing. This means they’re fully open to absorbing any information you throw their way, and they have no other preconceived ideas clouding their judgement.
Inexperienced hires are definitely the cheap and cheerful option! If you’re running a tight budget, or need to hire high volumes of people, trainees are an affordable option.
Naturally, trainees are going to require way more TLC than an experienced hire. They need someone to show them the ropes and a structured training program. If you don’t have the time or resources to provide this support, you’re only setting them up for failure and so an experienced hire would be a better option.
In some circumstances, speed is everything. Trainees will certainly be slower at completing tasks as they gradually build up their skillset. If time is precious to your role, we’d suggest either hiring multiple trainees to get the job done or an experienced person.
Trainees don’t have industry experience and will therefore have a tough job of providing you with any relevant references before you extend them a job offer. To compensate, make sure you have a robust interview process in place that really challenges your candidates and demonstrates both their hard and soft skills. A trial shift is a really great way of putting them to the test!
Are you looking to make that next hire? We’re experienced in sourcing both skilled professionals and trainees. Contact us today to discuss your hiring needs on 01865 655 298.
Vanessa Ramkissoon | Recruitment Content Expert