Now Hiring: No Experience Required

Bethany-PerkinsYou know how it works: if the candidate has the right number of years of experience, doing the right things at the right company in the right industry, voila! They make it through the applicant tracking system.

That’s not quite the case at one company, called Software Advice. Bethany Perkins heads up human resources and recruiting at the Austin, Texas, organization that’s not fixated on what many others are.

She and I talk about what criteria she looks for in a candidate — if experience is not the be-all-end-all — and how she judges whether people meet that criteria. We also touch on whether a college degree matters or it doesn’t.

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The eight-minute video is below.


2 Comments on “Now Hiring: No Experience Required

  1. Thanks, Todd. This was quite interesting. Bethany seems bright, articulate, thoughtful, and a caring person. At the same time, the CXO hired someone with zero experience to head up the company’s recruiting effort. What is THAT all about? She has only two years experience NOW. A big problem with startups is that they fail to realize that no matter how smart, hard-working, and passionate (I hate the word in the business context, but sometimes it’s the right one), there are just some things that you have to have the “*service stripes” to be able to do well. (Think: 10,000 hrs of dedicated practice at a skill for mastery, etc…)

    Finally, how many hiring managers are either willing or desperate enough to hire people who “can do” as opposed to “have done”?


    Keith “Working on My Seventh (or Ninth) Service Stripe” Halperin


  2. Keith, I have to disagree

    Hiring people on how smart, hard-working, and passionate they are surely can’t be an issue for Software Advice who’ve been successfully growing since 2006, who happen to be a Startup. They apparently hired Bethany for her personality and drive, rather than a 10 year degree in recruitment, but has that stopped her from being great at her job?

    True, Service Stripes mean certain people can step straight into their roles from day one. However the ‘problem’ with Startups is that they also function on great working environments as well as hard work. And that doesn’t come with hard skills alone. The focus is very much on bringing character and skill to the table, on cultivating teams who can grow together.

    In other words, hiring people not for who they are, but what they can become.

    I don’t think it’s a matter of hiring managers being desperate or willing to hire ‘can do’ over ‘have done’ it’s a matter of active choice.


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