Experience Required

Anyone who has been in the job market in recent years has probably lamented the essential or desirable criteria under job listings. This has nothing to do with skills or qualifications however. Job listings often demand prior experience in a similar position. Unfortunately this is a hurdle which cannot be cleared easily for people seeking new jobs in different sectors or new entrants to the labour market for example. This type of business practice is not sustainable for smaller business.

Job listings for a receptionist at a local hotel may seek 6 months of experience in a similar role. From a managerial perspective this is reasonable. It whittles down the number of suitable candidates and limits the costs that may be spent of training and individual for the role. From the perspective of an applicant this seems unreasonable. They may be capable of each of the duties and responsibilities listed in the job specification but the experience may unfairly rule them out of contention. Considering the external environment this appears to be very myopic.

The employment pool is becoming highly skilled which is naturally decreasing the desire and need to work in lower employment positions. By demanding experience, businesses are choosing to further restrict the employment pool. Unless job retention is exceptional, small business will regret this in the long term as they begin to struggle with recruitment. To attract candidates from an increasingly educated labour market small businesses will be forced to increase wages and drop demands of experience. Training costs will be incurred and expenditure will increase. Business is simply delaying costs assuming the business survives.

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