[CAJobPortal Insights] Should you hire ‘irrelevant’ work experience

At CAJobPortal.com, we get mandates from clients, as specific as CA with 7 years of experience, in FMCG, in Sales Commercial setup, with SAP Hana exposure

Will then there be a case for someone to be considered if they do not have relevant work experience, say experience of Financial Planning when the job mandates Treasury & Banking experience.

While companies allow massive functional shifts to their internal employees through internal rotation; when it comes to lateral hiring, especially through a placement agency, which will charge 8.33% of CTC as ‘success fee’, no one is willing to compromise. Everyone wants a ‘plug and play’ profile.

However, there seems to be evidence that suggests that “irrelevant experience” can also add wonders

Consider the case of Ken Kocienda, the software engineer who worked with Steve Jobs on the Apple iPhone and iPad projects and who recently authored the book “Creative Selection- : Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs”

Ken is a history Major, fixed motorcycles, worked in the editorial library of a newspaper, taught English in Japan and pursued photography seriously for a few years before starting his career as a software developer.

Eventually, he discovered the internet, taught himself computer programming, and made his way through a succession of dot-com-era start-ups, before landing at Apple in 2001, where he worked on the software teams that created the Safari web browser, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

So, how did a history student, a self-taught computer programmer make his way to Apple, and that be part of the core team of 25 members who designed the groundbreaking iPhone?

It is the classic round peg in a square hole. Still, the likes of Kocienda add tremendous value in organisations. Innovators actively look for ‘irrelevant’ work experience; people who could bring more than what meets the eye and what the resume suggests.

However, the counter to hiring irrelevant work experience is that we hire for predictability and not serendipity. What if a person with irrelevant experience, not live up to the expectations of the altered job profile? Juniors in the team might not want to report to a senior, who hasn’t had prior exposure

What do you think?

Will love to hear from you