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HR-Specialist With No Experience: To Hire Or Not?

HR Dec 2, 2022

Each manager must decide for himself whether it is worthwhile to hire an HR manager without prior job experience. And this decision can be influenced by many factors that are like the scales…

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Arguments for "To hire"

1. Not all companies have an HR manager or HR director. There are those where a person should just be. And HR agencies, consulting companies, and, finally, ordinary subordinate HR managers will work for him (if they are experienced, you can do without staffing agencies and consulting companies). Although in such cases you can do without an HR director as well.

2. Some people are quite capable of learning and retraining from "rich managerial experience" to the role of a buffer between management, owners, and staff and an executor in terms of implementing someone else's strategy (implementing the opinions and decisions of the company management, sometimes without the possibility of challenging or correcting these decisions).

The main thing is that retraining should happen quickly and the staff (as well as management) should not be perceived as guinea pigs.

If a person understands that nothing ready-made will be given to him, that crowds of candidates do not stand at the entrance to the company, that motivation is not only the scheme of payment profitable for the company, and that the adaptation of staff is not limited to the presentation in the spirit of "John, it's Alice! Alice,0 it's John!", and staff assessment is not a set of psychological tests or a test of knowledge (as it might have seemed in the position of department head). If there is an understanding of all of the above, everything will be fine.

3. Sometimes employers value loyalty and a common touch over experience.

4. In fact, wording like "at least three years of experience" in job descriptions is meaningless. Experience with anything is simply an assumption that if one has it, then we have a high probability of having certain knowledge, skills, and abilities.

For example, the wording "at least 1 year of experience with office equipment" sounds rather absurd, because either the person has learned to work with this troublesome office equipment by the end of the second week, or he is untrained.

It is necessary to put the critical and desirable qualification requirements in terms of "knows, can do, solves, applies, performs/executes independently" and then look for your best candidate for the position, not necessarily among experienced HR workers.

5. "HR manager without systemic experience" is a candidate who does not have solid skills in some areas of the HR manager's job. Lack of skills is the biggest disadvantage. Biggest plus: age 30 and older.

6. Teaching someone without experience is sometimes easier, faster, cheaper, and better for the company than retraining someone who already has experience in another company, with different principles of recruitment, adaptation, motivation, and assessment of staff (the way a department head does it can be quite different from the way it should be done in the HR position).

Arguments for "Not to hire"

1. As long as a person without experience in HR continues to study and make mistakes, the employer will pay not a salary, but a traineeship, pay extra for lack of experience and mistakes during training.

I.e. pay for the services of staffing agencies, external consultants for assessment, motivation, adaptation, development, personnel accounting, pay for the training of new employees who came instead of the old, not matching the nature or understanding of the relationship to the business with a new inexperienced HR-specialist.

2. Someone with previous managerial experience and established stereotypes (from a different position than the one that the HR specialist should occupy). It is not always possible for a skilled manager without prior HR knowledge to avoid instructing the owner or director on how to run the business and its operations.

3. It is sometimes difficult to come to an agreement on a cohesive approach to working with employees due to the disparity in management styles between the previous manager (future HR) and the CEO of the company. There is a significant chance that everyone will act independently and "draw the blanket over himself".

4. When you can get an experienced HR on the market for the same price, why pay more and take such risks? Understanding the role of HR within the organization as well as successful experience in hiring, adjusting, motivating, training, developing, and accounting for staff are all part of the experience.

5. A barrier could be a lack of comprehensive theoretical understanding of interacting with people. Assimilation of them takes time. The boss may occasionally be impatient and not want to wait. Of course, having management experience and skills might be beneficial, but the focus of an HR manager's work is distinct and has its own quirks and nuances. Understanding these peculiarities also requires patience.

6. If a person is unwilling to start "from scratch" as an HR employee in order to obtain profile experience, you should look for a partner who is ready to foot the bill for "sharpening in combat".

7. It's simple - if you need an HR person, why accept a non-HR person? If someone needs a driver, they will hire a driver, not a cashier (even if the cashier knows the driving regulations perfectly).

8. A manager with non-core HR abilities has no advantages over an experienced HR professional. Of course, a lot relies on the organizational structure, the workforce size, and the business's strategic objectives. A basic understanding of psychology and managerial experience is insufficient for success in a role.

9. It will be very challenging to navigate this field without the requisite HR position skills (knowledge of recruitment tactics, creation, and implementation of systems of motivation, adaptability, staff assessment, etc.), let alone the low level of performance.

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The idea that "job experience" is somewhat arbitrary and that it is easy to tell if someone is the proper fit for you or not simply by observing them in action most certainly has a rational basis. Never be reluctant to ask a candidate without any professional experience to describe how he sees the HR manager.

Perhaps just such a person is required by your company—a capable, inexperienced, and promising specialist who lacks formal work experience.

Author Bio

Helen Wilson is a professional content writer. She’s also a well-known paper writing assistant in the U.S. in the writing company. Her main spheres of specialization are Marketing, Productivity, and Self-development.


Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Creator - Columnist

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