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The Experience Inflation Problem: How Your Work Experience Requirements Short-Circuit Your Talent Acquisition Programs

Talent Acquisition November 29, 2021

The Experience Inflation Problem: How Your Work Experience Requirements Short-Circuit Your Talent Acquisition Programs


In most job descriptions an average person comes across on a job portal, having relevant experience is critical before applying for any job. However, it has always been a pressing question whether companies really require the work experience they ask for in their job descriptions?

For years, this question has perplexed applicants globally, and they’ve constantly asked the organizations to explain the reason behind such experience inflation. Let us discuss this by dividing the question into “why do they ask for it” and “do they really need it” to gain a broader perspective on this issue.

Why do Companies ask for relevant work experience?

For starters, it is crucial to understand the global talent landscape from a bird’s eye view to find out the “Why” to this question.

The rising attrition rates complimented by lower employee engagement and productivity levels are harming businesses of today. Companies want employees who know what they are doing and don’t require oversight with every project/task.

Many companies choose to list work experience as a way to seek out high-performing individuals. They want candidates who not only possess the necessary skills for the job but also know how to apply them in a work setting as well.

Recruiters may add a specific requirement for work experience to filter through applicants and discourage unqualified applicants from applying. Also, hiring a fresh candidate with no prior experience in a corporate setting increases the costs of L&D and mentorship programs.

Sometimes, work experience is not limited to experience in the field you wish to apply for. Many enterprises prefer entry-level candidates who know how to work in a team environment and communicate effectively.

Do Companies really need the work experience they mention in their job descriptions?

Some companies do need the work experience they ask for because of the type of business they are in, while others require work experience for validation and comfort.

Enterprises engaged in fast-paced customer-facing businesses need relevant experience because any issue from the company side can result in a customer loss. Enterprises involved in slow-paced businesses don’t necessarily need the work experience because they can always engage their employees in L&D programs and direct mentorships to carve the best version out of them.

But overall, pretty much every company requires some validation, either in the form of work experience or skillsets acquired over the years, irrespective of their business type. One common reason found among all industries is the prevention of attrition.

Most enterprises report fresh candidates quitting soon after they’ve acquired a skill through a company-organized L&D program. This results in not only financial losses to the company but also the loss of time and effort by the senior leadership.

But such concerns matter very little to job applicants; hence it becomes crucial to use a different approach to hiring. Let us look at what can be done to make hiring smooth and safe for both employers and candidates.

Talent Insights to Rescue

One of the most reliable AI-backed methods employers can try is using talent insights to craft specific job descriptions. Talent insights can include, but are not limited to:

  • Emerging technologies to target
  • Emerging skills to consider
  • Future-demand of certain skills and technologies
  • Top locations to target specific talent
  • Diversity & Inclusion trends globally
  • Hiring efforts of competitors and more.

By utilizing this data, enterprises can craft location-specific or skill-specific job descriptions that might not need the relevant experience, opening up opportunities to early career talent, which is the largest talent pool available today. The benefit of this approach is that it does not look at the experience as a metric to measure capability but targets other variables, including those of the potential future, to define capability.

Companies need to look beyond the resumes and dive deep into candidate persona, which is found in several AI-powered talent intelligence tools of today. This will enable them to hire better because they will know who they are hiring in-depth.

In 2021, companies are moving from talent data to talent intelligence and utilizing the power of AI and ML in recruitment and retention.

Draup for talent  enables HR leaders and Hiring Strategists to dive deep into various trends in hiring and engagement to empower their recruitment with data collected from over 4,500+ Job roles spread across 33 industries, 7,000+ universities, and 30,000 skills.

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