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October 2017 – Frank Gaine
Have you ever been interviewed for a role only to be told that the successful candidate was a better match? That they got the job because their current role was more aligned with the vacancy on offer? All too often employers opt for the candidate that has being performing a similar role in their existing or recent position. It’s a safe bet. Employers fear that it might take you too long to get on-board or that you might not ultimately be that capable of the new or extended responsibilities. For the capable and enthusiastic candidate, I’m here to tell you that this is nonsense.
A Tale From the Front Line
Recently, a candidate for a design manager role told UXswitch how frustrated they were with an employer’s reason for not progressing their application after interview. The candidate had managed a team of eight but the new team would comprise of twenty. The employer said that their design experience was unparalleled but they were worried whether or not the candidate could make the leap to a larger team size. Despite evidence of having managed the smaller team proficiently and showing excitement at the prospect of progressing to a larger team, the employer was not convinced.
Enthusiasm Trumps Experience
Although full details of the interview and the decision are not known, it seems that this employer did not see the potential for that person to grow naturally into the larger remit. In my own experience of hiring designers, I know that enthusiasm to learn, and evidence of having expanded their skillset in the past, trumps the possibly jaded candidate that might match the job requirements precisely. They’ll ask more questions, they’ll work harder, they’ll grow beyond the role and might bring a different perspective based on their other experience.
In a recent Fast Company article, Executive Search Adviser Claudio Fernández-Aráoz agrees;
“I am convinced that organizations and their leaders must transition to what I think of as a new era of talent spotting–one in which our evaluations of one another are based not on brawn, brains, experience, or competencies, but on potential”
It also seems to me that competencies like team management can be learnt whereas the design intuition is a more instinctive and rarefied skill. A candidate excelling at the latter might be a more valuable hire.
It’s why we exist
UXswitch was created so designers could progress in their career. Our focus was on what the designer wanted to do next rather than solely on what they had done before. Therefore, when you sign up, we ask you whether you want to concentrate on next and what kinds of activity you want to do in the future e.g. do less of web/mobile and move more into conversational UI. We know that capable designers can, for example, transition from interaction design to service design with learning and determination. Therefore, we encourage employers to hire the designer that displays grit and potential rather than judging them solely on their track record.
Source link https://www.uxswitch.com/enthusiasm-should-trump-experience/