Should you hire new or experienced talent for your small business?

Let’s talk about some job creation.

Hiring the right employees is a critical component of starting a successful small business. Without the right staff, there’s no way that a small business can grow and thrive into a robust and dynamic enterprise. Entrepreneurs tend to select certain kinds of employees onto their teams when they start a business, namely self-starters—highly motivated and talented individuals who have a passion for their field and a willingness to help achieve the entrepreneur’s vision.

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However small business owners looking to hire are faced with quite a challenge when searching for talented employees: anyone looking for work will try to market themselves as a self-starter and willing to work for a new enterprise. With millions out of work, entrepreneurs have a huge pool of talent to choose from, and that talent comes out in different ways depending on the candidate. Some potential hires have years of experience and obvious talent in their field, and their time-tested expertise could have serious value for a small business. On the other hand there are also some young professionals fresh out of college who have huge potential to grow with a new company and lend their new skills.

This begs the question of who makes a better candidate for a small business, new talent or veteran talent? Let’s consider the options.

Pros and cons of hiring new talent

There’s a lot for entrepreneurs to like when it comes to new talent. Ambitious college grads can make for great employees in any small business because they’re hungry to prove themselves. With little to no prior work experience, these newbies surely know that any employer would be taking a risk by hiring them. That knowledge could play out in a number of advantageous ways for a small business owner. Perhaps the new hire would take more risks in an effort to prove their worth, which could include trying out unorthodox measures to produce results.

Most new talent will come straight from a university, so they approach work from a more academic and theoretical standpoint. That’s both an advantage and a drawback. On the one hand, the new hire might approach a job with more enthusiasm than someone who’s been in the in the industry for years. They can tackle industry problems with a fresh set of eyes unclouded from years of job experience. But at the same time these new hires are the greenest of the green employees—they might contribute a lot to your small business, but you’ll have to show them the ropes of the business along the way.

Pros and cons of hiring veteran talent

Hiring veteran talent is an entirely different story. For veterans in the industry, their assets boil down to one word: experience. And new talent can only do so much to compete against someone with years of hands-on knowledge under their belts.

Let’s say you’re opening a small business in web marketing. As the leader behind the enterprise, you definitely want to hire new talent that understands the digital landscape because they grew up with the web and know it better than older marketers. But you also need seasoned marketing veterans, people who know how to pitch information to people and know how to do it well. The medium of marketing might be different than traditional print marketing, but the same tactics still apply. The veteran marketer would be a much more valuable asset to the company in this example because their experience in the general marketing field can help you determine the best course of action.

You’ve heard what I have to say on the matter, now I want to know what you think. Do you prefer hiring new or seasoned talent for your small business? Let me know!

About the Author: Karen Smith writes online business advice and web marketing strategy for a number of publications. She also writes about online education, particularly how to earn a business degree online. Feel free to send Karen and questions or comments you might have!

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