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Is Formal Education More Important than Practical Experience in the Hiring Process?


A well conducted process of recruiting, which ended in choosing a right employee means long run profits for the employer. Faultily conducted hiring is a waste of time and money, opening for a position and repeating the procedure over again.

The main point for starting hiring of personnel should be a detailed description of attributes required for a candidate. The demand in regards to the search of a worker should be derived according to the criteria in regards to formal education, practical experience and “soft” abilities (establishing interpersonal relations, communication, assertiveness etc.) and then establish which of the mentioned attributes of the candidate we think are absolutely necessary and which make a good impression, but are not necessary.

It is worthwhile to carefully prepare from the very beginning, the process of recruiting, its form and steps. In this way it will be easy define which part of recruiting results in verifying which itemized qualifications the candidate possesses, abilities or predispositions.

Formal education can be checked easily, because the so-called “hard” abilities can be practically always documented in writing. These are different kinds of certificates from completed schools, diplomas and certificates from completed courses, instructions or driver’s license. It is practical while you set up the recruiting advertisement to ask the candidates to bring copies of documents confirming their having the qualifications. This will save time and also it will allow to calmly look through the supplied information. At the same time it will help to verify seriousness of the candidate toward his work, because they have to input certain effort into preparing copies of the documents.

The experience of the candidate is usually attested by certificates from work and references. It is good to verify the information contained in the references by telephone, if it is possible, with the persons recommending the candidate. Also, during the qualifying interview it should be determined with details up until now, the range of obligations in the previous place of employment. The description of the previous position of work may be confusing and may not show all work performances.

The “soft abilities” can be determined during the qualifying interview. The easiness of establishing interpersonal contact, restrain under stress, ability of cooperation is easy to determine by arranging a situation in which the tested person will have to display the important attributes for us.

Actually, is it more important for us, as employers, for the hired Polish female employee to have qualifications or professional experience on a similar position depends on for which position we are looking a candidate for. Strictly technical work in most cases needs a person having proper education and even documented qualifications. Knowledge achieved during the years of learning is necessary for specialized positions. Surely no one will employ a lawyer who doesn’t have a higher education.

However in some specialties experience in performing the specified profession is absolutely necessary. The owner of a construction company or of a beauty salon definitively needs employees who “know their profession” and performing their work quickly and efficiently. Of course, if we can financially afford necessary education to train a less experienced person and we are not pressed for time – we can acquire a worker performing work in a manner dictated by us. It is important however, in such case, to make sure right at the initial selection, that this candidate is a person who easily absorbs knowledge and is open for growth. Because hiring a person who has a many years experience we may sometimes run into a barrier, in a form of difficulties in changing a habit or unwillingness to self-education.

Besides “hard abilities” and professional experience, it is also good to evaluate importance of the soft” abilities. Many professions, especially those connected with contact with people, requires to have attributes of abilities to solve conflicts, openness to others or communication. It is hard to imagine a babysitter, who is a silent person or badly coping in stressful situations, to perform the imposed duties well.

It is a success to find a candidate who has the desired by us qualification, experienced, but open to new proceedings, or a young person without experience, but a fast learner. The ideal male or female candidate to hire should have some inborn abilities. “Soft” abilities are actually the hardest to learn, but by proper engagement and willingness of the worker everything is possible. Therefore the most valuable worker is one, who has naturally possesses certain attributes of personality, is gifted and has some abilities acquired through learning and practice.