Savvy Leaders Hire People with Education & Experience
Frankly over my lifetime I have been through a host of interviews, talent searches, resume courses, and blah blah blah. Anyone of those companies I have interviewed for in my career could read this article and go "she's talking about me". Actually I am not. I don't have anyone or company in mind. What I have is a life time of experiences, and that is the simple truth.
Recently a friend, whom I would say was “in the know” suggested that people need to leave their education off of their resumes. If people are getting overlooked because of their prior qualification and education, then they should leave that information off, is what he told me.
As much as I love my friend, I probably wouldn't do that. I don’t know why anyone would need too. As a society we are trying to educate others all over the world to stand up and be accountable. What better way to do that than to list your qualification on a resume? Would you ask your daughter, wife, son or spouse to leave their education off her resume? Maybe drop some of their work experience? The very things the job description asked for?
The very things the job description asked for?
Unfortunately it still appears that many do find educated woman and men threatening. Truth however is that they are only threatening until you hire them. Then you learn how much you need their education and/or their experience. It’s called making your life easier.
There is a saying “You can’t always teach a “NEW” dog old tricks”. The younger crowd tends to view experience in a way that isn’t entirely clear even to them just yet. It is simply because they haven't had those life experiences necessary to judge differently. Experienced employees aren’t necessarily looking to take your job away from you. Actually, if they are applying at your company, and you are interviewing them – you should look at it as a complement. After all they came to you. It doesn't mean they are desperate either.
If you don’t feel safe in your own position you could feel some hesitation when you interview people. STOP. Those thoughts and feelings are being reflected in the interview. Ask yourself if you are adding bias into the interview and running off good talent? Give yourself a break, and interview on days that you feel okay about your job, and give each candidate a fair chance.
Look at it as a complement.
I’ve interviewed all types of people of different ages, race, sex, and belief systems. Some had extensive education and skills. I admit I was intimidated by a couple of them; but I was still young. However, I was glad I wasn’t making the decision all on my own, and I had a team to help point out the positives (and negatives). We hired them, and they were fabulous. Others I’ve interviewed were just getting started on their career paths. We hired a combination of personalities stemming from many different backgrounds. We did it as a team.
Truthfully the hiring process is a discriminatory process. As an employer, you are only hopeful that you have selected correctly. You are hopeful you didn’t let the best candidate get away, and might have to go through the process again. You are hopeful it will all work out. I am hopeful it will work out for you too. Really I am, because I have also struggled with the same issues.
If you look even deeper into the discriminatory practice of resource management, It can only be described as "stretching bodies on the rack". No offence, but It's a painful process; a business contractual process - but still painful.
To say that someone peaks professionally at a certain age is a myth. How can you know that? You can’t. Maybe once you have retired and you can reflect back on the many career paths you have taken over the years, you might find your peak wasn’t what you thought at all. Maybe you were in your 30’s or 60’s when it happened. Case in point, look at your politicians in their 80's. So maybe politicians aren't a good example, but you get my meaning.
It isn’t always the money and prestige, but rather the self-satisfaction of a job well done; that is your true peak. It might even be a volunteer gig that brought you self-satisfaction. Everyone has that moment in their career where they are most satisfied. But everything in life as well as business has ebbs and flows. You might have a combination of peaks.
If this old dog could teach a New dog, a few old tricks, it would be to go with your heart. Trust your instincts. Don’t let age, gender, or qualifications get in your way. Many leaders’ hire people who have more education and experience than themselves for a reason. It’s called being savvy. A good leader will use their employees skills to make themselves a better leader, and to develop a winning team.
Many leaders’ hire people who have more education and experience than themselves for a reason
You can be very smart and not have a college education. Education is something you have to apply to get a benefit out of. Some people like education just for the philosophical journey; I fall into the philosophical category. I weighed my educational options and decided I didn’t want to get an MBA. I wanted to build programs for people to learn from. I wanted to understand how people learn; so I went into instructional technology and learning sciences. I didn’t regret it. Besides I already had 30 years of experience in the workforce. I wanted to study and research something that I could enjoy. I wanted to be happy learning.
I recall having two gentlemen who worked under me whose qualifications far out matched my own. They were the best employees I have ever had. They were 20 to 30 years my senior, but they were kind, generous, understanding, dedicated, loyal, and smart. They were just glad to be there, and I was glad to have them there. I am glad they didn’t judge me. Come to find out – they were my biggest fans.
Women and men alike, please, by all means list what you have on your resume that is a true reflection of who you are, your talents, and your strengths. That is all you have to offer - it's who you are. If that is not good enough then you didn’t need to be there anyways. Any place that would ask you to lower your qualifications,or standards, is not the place for you.
Celebrate your education. Highlight your professional achievements. Not all achievements come by way of education, sometimes its just hard work and perseverance that pays off.
To the employers, all one can ask is that you give a fair assessment of the talent that will present to your organization; and then make your decisions. Decisions based on need, and not fear. If you fear education, and you have an uneducated or unskilled workforce, your fate is in your own hands. It is a fact that an educated/skilled workforce will have a higher economic standard of living, thus your community will thrive.
I can say these things as an educator and a business woman. I am fair and honest in my assessment that education does provide certain keys to economic freedoms.