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Hire for experience or learnability?

Datapreneur Khyanafi
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Prakash Baskar

October 20, 2020

minutes remaining

In the product world, “Learnability is a quality of products and interfaces that allows users to quickly become familiar with them and able to make good use of all their features and capabilities” – Wikipedia.

Experience is a great teacher.

The main reason to hire someone with experience is not just for what they know wrt how to do something – it is also to leverage their knowledge on how NOT to do something – so you don’t pay for them to learn while making mistakes. You want to be able to use the value of their mistakes to your benefit.

What do you do when you can’t find someone with the exact experience you are looking for?

You hire for Learnability.

I view candidate learnability as the person’s inherent ability to quickly understand the business, technology, and organizational pieces required to do the job well.

A quick look through the resume and a short discussion will help validate if they could work well across the industry sectors, leveraging learnability. If they have done it in 4 different areas, chances are they will be able to quickly ramp up in your area, too – unless you are in a very niche segment.


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