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Consider the word “cheaper” for a moment and determine what that means to you and within your business. Business owners are constantly working to decrease costs and drive profits through efficiency. Looking for the cheaper route can prove worthwhile in some areas, but considering the age old statement, “You get what you pay for,” can we really be certain that saving costs when it comes to employees really gets you quality talent? Hiring someone not qualified for a job due to costs is never a good idea (You don’t want a Clerk doing your Books!) but there are arguments on both side for hiring an experienced vs. less experienced employee.

Many companies settle for what they can afford, while others look to bring on less experienced talent, hoping to find that diamond in the rough. While both can work, the areas in which they work the best, differ.

A less experienced employee will likely need considerable training, shadowing more experienced employees, maybe significant mentoring for the first year or so, while they assimilate and learn their job. They also afford you the opportunity to mold them to perform exactly what you want-the way you want, without baggage from a lot of previous employers, especially if the desired skills are not in abundance in a tight talent marketplace. In many ways, if done correctly, these less experienced employees with the right personality, drive and motivation can go on to outperform their mentors and be a valuable investment in your workforce. However, this system takes time, effort and may slow down the work output of your more experienced employees involved in the training process.

Bringing on an experienced employee in the price range you can afford, gives you the talent you need and can grow with, from the start. While they also might need some handholding in the beginning, (all new hires do- to an extent) their level of production should have a sharper incline than that of a less experienced employee and results greater.

Simply stated, a less experienced employee, while may cost less up front, will cost you in time and effort to be trained in the long run. Whereas, a more experienced employee will cost you more in the beginning, but their onboarding should be considerably less than their less experienced counterpart. Both hires require critical consideration and planning.

Consider these areas when deciding if you can cut costs by hiring cheaper employees:

  • Do you have a system in place to train less experienced employees? (mentors, manuals, training guides)?
  • What time are you willing to invest in a less experienced employee? (daily, weekly, annually)?
  • Do you believe a less experienced employee is committed to complete your training process, and stay & grow with your company?
  • Is the work you have at hand time-sensitive, allowing little to no training time?
  • Does your budget support an experienced employee who will bring a fast return on your investment?

Making the decision of experienced vs. less experienced new hires is never easy but both can be successful, with the right plan in place and understanding they must be handled uniquely and with different expectations.

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