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| 1 minute read

Does experience matter when it comes to hiring?

A strange question you might think from a headhunter. We're paid to find the ‘needles in haystacks’, the ‘purple unicorns’, the hidden candidates with oodles of relevant industry experience. It's what we do at Hyperion, we're very good at it. We've been doing this in the cleantech sector for nearly ten years. We'll continue to do it, BUT……..

We also see daily how demand far exceeds supply, but more importantly we see, just as in life, if you don't expand the gene pool, you get some very ‘in-bred’ thinking and and a rather ‘odd’ population. The real opportunity, especially for innovative companies comes from an influx of creativity, of ideas, of ‘different’ thinking. Diversity comes in all shapes and sizes, and always to the benefit of a company or population. That includes socio-economic diversity, and diversity of industry experience.  We've been able to move some exceptional talent into the clenatech sector from the sunset industries of Oil & Gas, traditional Automotive, Telecoms, manufacturing, and other vibrant industries like Fintech, banking and automation. 

As the article suggests, it is increasingly the softer and more transferable skills that are needed in the modern business arena, especially the ‘chaotic’ world of start-ups and scale-ups.

Yes, industry experience can be a huge benefit, but so can alternative skills, viewpoints and experience. Time for a more nuanced approach to hiring. I'd take superstar from another sector over a mediocre talent from my own (there's plenty enough of them), and many of our clients are drawing the same conclusion.

How do you approach this? It could be the difference between high performing team and a bang average one.

“We’re seeing jobs converge, we’re seeing industries converge. We’re seeing technology breaking down silos, breaking down distinctions,” says Devine. The traditional approach to hiring which emphasises experience may no longer fit the evolving talent landscape rendering job descriptions, essentially, out of date. “Most of us have a job description that doesn’t accurately reflect what we do. And it probably isn’t going to reflect what we’re doing in six months,” she continues. The need for an adaptable workforce that thrives on dissecting new technologies and is accepting of a dynamic workplace will only get stronger.


diversity, industry, candidates, careers, culture, c-suite, high performance, hiring, interviews, leadership, talent, teams, cleantech