Hiring Humans

Have you ever been rejected from a job due to lack of experience? Have you ever wondered how you’d ever get ahead when you needed experience to land your career choice, but nobody would hire you because of your lack thereof?

On the same note, has someone ever taken a chance on you? They knew you had no experience, had absolutely no idea who you were, but wanted you anyway?

A person like that, my friend, is a true leader. They genuinely want to see you succeed and are willing to take the time to train you up to be an expert in the field that you’re starting out in, even though you have absolutely no experience or a clue what you’re doing.


I happened to get lucky. A career fell into my lap at the perfect moment. I found someone who was willing to take a chance on me, someone with zero experience in the position she was hiring for. I was a mom of 2 small children, hadn’t worked in quite some time, and had a medically complex child that my employer-to-be knew would take up a lot of my time.

Why did she hire me? Because she heard my story. I was raw and real in my interview, one hundred percent honest. She took the time to have her well trained team train me to become the badass she needed for her company.

Now, I get to hire people for that same company. All because one person took a chance on me.

It literally changed my life.

We can waste hours, days, maybe even weeks, flipping through endless applications and scheduling interview after interview, trying to find someone with the credentials and experience we need. When we bring them in for an interview, they rattle off their long, boring job history and bullshit stories of how they “rocked it” at their last place of employment and offer the same excuses as to why they quit or got fired. And when you hire them, you realize after all that they weren’t a good fit for your company and don’t live up to your core values.

Why not listen more to someone’s story? Why do they want to work in the field you’re hiring for? What makes them unique? What are their strong traits? Do they travel? Rock climb? Have they written a book? What are their weaknesses? How can you use their strengths and help them strengthen their weaknesses?

 They key is to discover their personal core values are and base your hiring decision on that. I know, I know. I can hear you now: “They have no experience in what I’m hiring for! They wouldn’t have the first clue what to do around here!”

My personal opinion on this is: Good! If this person is me, I don’t have to break any bad habits. I get to start from scratch.

In other words, hire a human person, not their experience or job history.

Does this method work every time? Absolutely not. There’s no way you can get to know someone in an hour-long interview, but you can usually get a pretty good idea of what they’re about. Your gut has good instincts.

I know and understand that it’s tough when you’re looking for someone with a certain skill set, but I saw something today that made me want to write this blog. It was a meme quote I saw on Instagram that read “Character over Credentials.” It resonated with me.

People waste a lot of time and go through a lot of people to find the right “fit” for their company, and sometimes the one they choose isn’t the right one and they have to do it all over again. So, if you find someone who is open, honest, and transparent and willing to tell you their story, LISTEN to them. Don’t go off of what you read on a resume. See the human, not their industry experience (or lack thereof). You can train the right person. You can make them be a badass leader if you focus on their character. You can find someone with an amazing work ethic, who’s authentic and unique and has core values that match your company’s. You might even find a leader in someone who has little or no experience in your field.

When I hire people, I let them know my expectations up front. I also tell them I am hiring and raising leaders in our industry. I don’t base my decision on their experience – I base it off of their work ethic and desire to be the best version of themselves. I send them a copy of our core values and let them know we expect everyone on our team to live up to them. I try to find someone who’s not afraid to take risks, who thinks positively, who’s motivated and innovative. Everything else will come later.

You get a huge sense of accomplishment when you know you’ve helped someone get to where they are because you took a chance on them when nobody else would. I cannot stress this enough. Your business will be much more successful if your employees model your core values rather than the experience or skills needed for the job.

Author: Jessica Burkhart

Jessica is the Elite Response Team Lead at SCP Agency and prides herself on being a leader in her industry and her ability to coach others up to be the same. She recruits leaders that want to, not only be successful themselves, but want to do their part in making businesses across the country successful as well.

Robin Wilson 12:58 PM (7 hours ago) to me