By Kevin Roth
“Would she be open to coming on at a Sr Manager title? Our other Directors have 20+ years of experience and she only has 13 so I don’t want to ruffle any feathers”
– Aside from years of experience, anything else that makes you feel she’s not up to Director level?
“Nope, her background is right on target”
– (wait silently)
“Alright, let’s go with Director”
Although it is probably the single most common requirement on any job spec, years of experience can be a highly unreliable measure of overall capability.
I have met with amazing candidates in my career in recruitment who have accomplished more in 10 years than others have in 30. Instead of leaning so heavily on that somewhat arbitrary number, focus on how relevant their experience is for the position at hand.
Have they supervised a similar size team? Come out of similar size/stage companies? Led the same scale projects? Driven the same cross-functional partnerships with senior leadership?
I know it’s comforting going into surgery or walking on an airplane knowing your doctor/pilot has 30 years of experience under their belt.
And in many cases, those extra experiences do equate to greater aptitude.
But not in ALL cases. And that’s when you trust your interview process.