• Stuart Fine

Experience vs. Profit

I recently posted this picture on my Facebook page and the number of responses I received and the questions I was asked were simply astounding.  During this strange time we are currently in, I've had the good fortune to speak with many of my friends about their current work situations and how they are feeling. Many of these folks have seen promotions go to younger much less qualified candidates.  Some firms have asked their vets to help train their newly appointed leaders. I've seen this countless times over the course of my career.  Its not new, but now when things are seemingly at their toughest, is it a smart move?  Just so you know my reference point, I'm 54 years old and have been an independent consultant for almost 20 years now.  One of the prevailing things I have heard and I've seen from businesses who are hiring employees and consulting firms is the idea of cost containment.  Now you might think that bringing a fresh young face to do the job of your older, slightly wrinkled veteran is a great way to cut costs and boost profits.  Maybe you're just starting up and think that having a group of high energy rookies who are adept at the latest and greatest tools like ClickUp, RocketReach, Slack, Hubspot etc is the way to go.  But here is where I get back to my photo.  I will bet there have been countless people who have driven by this type of mushroom and never once gave it a second glance. You probably didn't even notice it.  Now you might be thinking well you're obviously a forager so you know what to look for?  I am by no means a professional forager, but I do have experience in picking a few choice things from my yard. You see here is where experience pays for itself far more than youthful exuberance.  First, experience will tell you what to look for and how to find it.  Once experience finds it, they will be able to assess its potential value.  FWIW, this particular mushroom sells for $20/lb in the farmers market.  Youthful exuberance might find this nugget faster or it may completely miss it.  They may buy this nugget from a vendor and tell you that they found a truffle when in fact its really just a giant puffball.  There are unseen costs to hiring inexperience in place of the experienced.  This is not a knock on youth.  I was once young as well.  I was lucky enough to have experienced people above me to teach me the best way to manage the tasks I was given and eventually I learned to do them my own way, which was a more efficient way for me.  When hiring people it might not be the guy who understands the latest version of whatever the latest greatest CRM might be that can spit out emails and reminders faster than the speed of light who is your ideal fit.  It might be the guy or gal with the gray hair who knows the right people to call or how to get the right people faster. Instead of thinking how much more it will cost, think of how much less you might lose.  Crisis is a great equalizer, having experience on your side will help you far more than you realize.  

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