Everything I do well, I learned the hard way. In my early recruiting days, I was told to find an experienced plastic injection molding technician. Say what? I had no clue where to begin. (This was before the Internet and there was no job description.) But, guess what? I figured it out.
That is because my boss gave me time to figure it out. He sat back and watched me struggle my way to success. I learned from talking to the candidates and by visiting companies. And eventually I became a solid recruiter.
We don’t seem to give people time to develop skills anymore. Companies want to hire experts. I am not sure this plan is working. Positions remain unfilled despite high unemployment. What gives?
When I first entered HR the mantra was, “Hire good people with the desire and the ability to learn and then find a place for them within the organization.”
I think many employers would do well to go back to this way of thinking. Stop searching high and low for someone with the exact right skills and qualifications. Look for people with a desire to become excellent. Then let experience be the trainer.