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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!

Today’s Question: How do you decide whether to hire a junior or senior person for a role?

The answers below are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.


Tim1. Weigh the Trade-Offs

This is the age-old hiring dilemma. With a junior person, you’ll get energy, motivation, fresh eyes, and a malleable personality that can grow within your existing structure. However, they will require a lot of training and attention. Hiring a senior person, on the other hand, will bring experience, character, and a self-sufficient employee. They will, however, typically be less flexible when it comes to adapting to your culture.

Tim Grassin, Candy Banners

Arry2. Consider How Much Time You Have for Training

Whether we hire junior or senior depends on how much time we can dedicate to training the employee. With a junior person you get fresh energy, but the employee often requires more training.

Arry Yu, Emotiv Labs, Inc., dba GiftStarter

john3. See What’s in Your Budget

A junior person will require a lot of attention and mentorship, and they probably won’t produce a lot immediately. If you have the time and patience to train them, then they will eventually become a great asset. A senior person, on the other hand, will not require much training and will be able to take quite a bit of work off your plate immediately. They’ll be significantly more expensive, though.

John Koht, kohactive

AJ4. Hire More Junior Than Senior People

I usually hire a majority of junior people because they have that motivation that many senior people do not have. They strive to move up in life, and that’s in line with my company’s philosophy. I like initiative from my employees, which is generally more significant in juniors. However, I also hire some senior people because they have the experience and wisdom that can often prevent mistakes.

Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning

Ben5. Measure Passion Rather Than Seniority

You can usually tell how well someone does with new things during their interviews. If we know we have a junior guy who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done versus a guy who has 20 years of experience but hasn’t really moved up the ladder, we take the junior guy every time.

Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC




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