Experience is important for long term success as a manager and above, however it should not be the only criteria evaluated during the hiring process. All too often I hear of companies choosing between competent candidates for a position, but siding with the individual with more experience. However, work ethic and talent are two of the most important characteristics of successful managers. No matter the experience level, a motivated individual with a high work ethic will be more successful in a role than an individual with lots of experience but a low motor.

Interestingly, healthcare is one field that evolves slower than other services. Because of this, the need to invest in talent over experience has not been realized. However, with the evolution of healthcare, new metrics are the basis for healthcare outcomes creating the necessity for new skill sets.

Basketball is a great example of a sector that has such high rates of turnover, the essential need to invest in talent is polarizing. For example, basketball teams will tend to invest large sums of money to young rookies with high potential due to their talent and work ethic rather than spend a large sum of money on a similarly skilled veteran that is at the peak of their career. Why is this? This is because the industry understands that skill and work ethic cannot be replaced, but experience will be obtained over time. No matter the industry, it is important to understand the limitations that are present by person characteristics to invest in the talent that have the defining characteristics.

Investing in a candidate based on experience alone is similar to making a judgment based on age. That would be similar to the Portland Trailblazers choosing to start Steve Blake or Andre Miller over the 25-year old Damian Lillard point guard because they are older and have more experience. However, it is now understood that young talent is rare and hard to come by. Finding a talent that has the skill-set (ethical, reliable, smart, strong communication skills) to succeed is harder than finding a candidate with experience. For long term success, invest in the talent and work with them to develop and grow. After all, if you don’t know matter how successful you are now, you will have to re-build soon and you may not like that process (just ask the Lakers).