4 Tips For Hiring Candidates With No Similar Work Experience


In the recruitment world, employers are currently competing for the top talent that is in short supply. With the ever changing skill sets needed to keep up with trends, it can be hard to not only find the right people, but be able to attract and hire these people when they are being offered bigger salaries at the larger companies. As a result, employers need to become more receptive and open to the idea of hiring candidates that don’t necessarily fit the mould or job description exactly.

“Hire for attitude, not skill” has become a pretty common phrase over the years. And I agree that there’s definitely merit to that, you can’t train attitude. Being Tenacious, ethical, honest and caring for your work can be just as valuable as X amount of years experience in a similar role. However, being able to measure this whilst still ensuring they can achieve the technical skills needed to be successful can be hard. Here’s 4 tips to help recruit candidates with zero similar work experience.

Who do you know?

The first port of call for hiring for most companies is internal referrals. And rightfully so, they have proven to be an effective and important method of hiring. Incentivising employees can be an effective way to get these referrals, but in general, employees that are engaged and invested in the business are more likely to recommend those that will mirror this. However,  I would still recommend you retain a cautious based entry criteria on your essential skills and behaviours.


The rise of psychometric testing tools has been a game changer in the HR Industry. One way to use these tools is to benchmark your current workforce to understand the key factors for your employees success. This goes deeper than just the specific skills they have related to a job and down to what makes them good employees. By using this data, you can assist your “gut feeling” about an potential candidates and implement interview techniques to see how closely potential hires match with what is currently successful in the business.

Day Trial

A useful strategy when hiring is to put potential hires through a day trial. Let these candidates spend at least half a day working with the team, giving them full reign to be ask questions and chat with the team and managers. let them discover the highs and lows and ins and outs of the job. Also importantly, give the team the opportunity to provide you with feedback on the candidates. This way you make them feel valued and engaged and they also may have picked up on nuances that you may have missed during the formal interviews.

Be receptive

It’s common that hiring managers may overlook transferable skills when setting out requirements. As well as this, with HR normally setting the job spec, it can be difficult to hire to the exact job brief. Therefore, It’s extremely valuable and important to be receptive and to educate your colleagues about what skills a person has that can be transferred into the new role. By avoiding the ‘like for like’ hires and bringing people on board who bring something different to the team, you can help boost productivity and creativity within the team.

With the job market heavily in the candidates favour, hiring managers need to become more agile and open to change. There are extremely valuable candidates out there that may not fit exactly the job description, but with given the chance with the right support, they could become very successful employees.

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