Should Small Business Hire Experienced or Inexperienced Workers?

Hiring decisions can be difficult. Training is part of the solution.Although there is a growing trend toward LEAN principles in organizations of all sizes, small business has long worked on the “do more with less” concept. Small business is where people are wear many hats, not necessarily because cross-training is beneficial, but because there are only so many people to do everything that needs to be done – and that usually starts with the owner.

When small business hires an employee, then, do they opt for a greenhorn or an experienced worker? There are reasons to opt for either choice.

Experienced workers

The top reasons to hire experienced workers are strong:

  1. They can step in and be productively quickly
  2. They bring skills and knowledge to add to the existing team
  3. Less training may be necessary for specific skills

However, experienced people can come with a hefty price tag that a small business may not easily be able to afford. In addition, they may have habits or routines that do not fit with the existing culture and they may be resistant to change. Some experienced people arrive with a “been there, done that and it doesn’t work” sort of attitude that might not fit with the quickly evolving entrepreneurial enterprise.

Inexperienced workers

Some small business owners may opt for the benefits of inexperienced workers.

  1. They are less expensive to hire
  2. They can be trained in both skills and culture specific to the company
  3. They can grow with the company

Inexperienced workers are not always young people, but they often come with an enthusiasm and open mind ready to meet the challenge. With guidance, they can fit into the problem solving and cooperative mindsets required in small organizations.

Often it is the combination of experienced and inexperienced workers that create a strong team.

No matter which level of employee is hired, Karen Zwick of 1st Class Solutions says that experience has taught her that custom training programs meet the needs of everyone and are necessary in both situations. Coming into an organization with or without experience, there are still skills, culture and goals unique to the organization and aligning training programs with those is the most effective means of building successful employees and businesses.

-Elaine of the 1st Class Solutions Blog Team

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