Today’s recruiters when searching for candidates are looking both at experience and the ability to do a job. But given a choice what takes precedence, we find out
It is almost like a bygone era, when we talk about employees spending a decade or more in a company. These endangered species or may be extinct (in all probability) gained immense respect among colleagues, bosses, and society, needless to mention the rise to senior positions in the company. Today, boundaries have faded, and it is no longer experience that counts – evidently. How many young, comparatively inexperienced professionals are we seeing rising to high positions in companies, sometimes dictating much senior and experienced employees the ‘tricks of the trade’? Welcome to the new age corporate.
Looks like it is a war of the experienced and the capable junta of the corporate world. To the young turks, it is the ability that matters. Vimal Sonar, manager of litigation services in a legal firm in Hyderabad, says, “Post my education in law, I joined as an apprentice in my firm and the management recognised my capabilities and gave me jobs that suited my interest and ability. And when my team expanded, I but naturally became the first choice for the managerial post.” Happy with the rise in status and his pay, Vimal is all gung ho about how ability wins over experience. “After all, we are all well- trained right from our university days to be able to tussle with the biggies of the industry,” he says.
There is however another breed of employees who scorn at those who believe it is sheer ability that makes them think they have arrived in life. Madhukar Gollapudi is the vice president of a medium-sized outsourcing company in Hitech City. He cites the example of an incident in his division which he thinks sets an example for those who live in ‘a fantasy world’. Says he, “I do agree that ability is a crucial factor and means a lot to the company. But is it all that matters? I don’t think so. To dismiss off years of experience is like saying the final output of your tasty chicken curry has happened without marinating the chicken, grinding the masalas and knowing the right recipe to cooking the chicken to perfection. And that comes with experience. Nothing happens overnight, and it takes time to build relationships with clients, and create a trust that brings business to the company for years. And that is why we matter. We once sent our youngest and the smartest team member to the California branch to negotiate a deal with the client, as I was not able to travel. Having known the client for years, we thought we made the safest bet by sending him, but the client was far from convinced at his ability to seal the deal. We managed to do it over a video conference later, by giving the client our best assurances. That is where experience counts,” he says matter-of-factly.
The debate obviously continues, and there is no definitive answer. But what is definite is that in the end, both hold equal importance and it is rather immature to dismiss one aspect over the other. After all, being ably experienced is as important as having the ability to do whatever the job demands.