When hiring, how important is it to find a candidate who's already had the work experience to join your company?

According to Jeff Fluhr, CEO of social video platform Spreecast, it's not really that important and, actually, having the right professional experience is overrated. 

"I still sometimes find myself falling into the trap of thinking, when I’m trying to fill a role, 'Has the person done the work that the role requires?' That’s the wrong question," Fluhr tells Adam Bryant at The New York Times. "It should be, 'Let’s find a person who has the right chemistry, the right intellect, the right curiosity, the right creativity.' If we plug that person into any role, they’re going to be successful."

Fluhr says that most hiring managers will think, "OK, we need a VP of marketing and we want somebody who’s been a VP marketing at another consumer Internet company, and hopefully, they’ve done these certain things because that’s what we need." However, you don't actually need someone with this exact background for things to work out. 

"...The reality is that if you get somebody who’s smart, hungry and has a can-do attitude, they can figure out how to do A, B, and C, because there’s really no trick to most of these things," he says.

In fact, it's the softer skills that are far more important, including the cultural fit, the chemistry fit, personality traits, and level of optimism.

"I always ask people why they’re thinking about leaving their current job, and why it isn’t fulfilling what they’re looking for," says Fluhr. "Part of that conversation is about what they’re looking for, and their goals for the next step of their career. Understanding that helps create a picture of whether they’re going to be a good fit."

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