There was a time when recruiting was a lot more simple.
When it was more about who applies than a boolean string and a few phone calls. Throwing flyers with marbles attached into yards. Being chased off at the local grocery store. That’s where our guest, Derek Murphy-Johnson, Talent Acquisition Manager at KinderCare Education, got his start and cemented his belief in skills versus experience recruiting.
Skills vs experience has been an old battle in the recruiting community. Due to market conditions, skills based recruiting is becoming the go-to strategy. “Skill-based recruiting has been a result of a tight market,” shared Derek. “Now, you don’t have the people with 3-5 years of experience in digital x, y and z for certain technical positions.”
It was clear to Derek that “3-5 years of experience” meant different things to different people. In fact, after over 10 years in the market, Derek wasn’t reviewing the years of experience at all. He learned a lesson every recruiting professional should know. “It’s not what they did, it’s how they get the work done and focusing on those skills it takes to do the work itself.”
The same applies for a college education, said Derek.
“I don’t focus on education. Some of the most brilliant people I’ve met don’t have a degree. Some of the dumbest people I’ve met have multiple degrees. A college education just guarantees you have debt.”
Recruiting for skills versus experience isn’t so clean cut. “It really is case by case, position by position. In some industries you can’t look at skills, you do have to look at experience, like a physician. When I’m going under the knife I want to make sure that they have experience.”
Ultimately in recruiting, it comes down to one thing for Derek (and your hosts, too): common sense. You must get to know the human on the other side of the line, whether that’s phone or a resume, to truly know if they’ll be a fit. You can’t just trust the paper.