degrees or experience?

Let’s Talk: Degree Or Experience? Deciding What To Look For When Hiring Newcomers

17 June, 2021

Dr Matt Beard, Program Director of the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship offers his thoughts on what to look for when hiring in this Dynamic Business article.

Job candidates with a tertiary qualification demonstrate they possess intellectual ability, ambition, and discipline, but does this automatically make them the best person for the job?

Relevant industry and life experience, a cultural fit with your team, the desire to learn, and good old-fashioned values are also important traits to look for when recruiting.

So how do you prioritise these attributes and choose the best candidate, every time?

Dr Matt Beard, says “I was recently speaking with a CEO who told me that she no longer looks for technical skills when she’s recruiting. Her reason was simple: skills can be taught quickly and easily, emotional intelligence can’t.

“Hiring newcomers who have glittering CVs, worlds of experience or whose walls are littered with diplomas, on the other hand, means taking a punt on a person’s character and emotional intelligence. To my mind, this isn’t a risk worth taking.

“When we talk to leaders about the kinds of people they want to be and work with, we don’t hear much about what New York Times writer David Brooks calls ‘resume virtues’ like productivity. Instead, we want to know who is curious, empathetic, caring, wise and courageous.

“These traits aren’t guaranteed by either experience or education. They need to be actively sought after, otherwise, you might have a team who are great at what they do, with no mind to whether what they’re doing is actually doing any good.” 

Dynamic Business, 16 June 2021. Read the full article here.

Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership’s programs include the 2 day Executive Ethics, 6 day Executive Colloquium and year-long Vincent Fairfax Fellowship. We also deliver online and tailored corporate programs. Find the right program for you. They are all held under the Chatham House Rule to encourage genuine and open debate, and allow participants to candidly discuss sometimes sensitive issues in private while allowing the topic and nature of the debate to be made public, and contribute to a broader conversation. The alumni program offers ongoing leadership development support and a lifelong connection with Cranlana.

Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash