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Thread: Experience vs Qualification vs Personality

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    Senior Member williegawie's Avatar
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    Default Experience vs Qualification vs Personality

    So some of the other threads made me think of this question, what is better, experience or qualification or personality?

    Now before anyone says all of them, let me quantify.

    In my experience being adept in using a tool is more useful than knowing where the tools comes from. For example, I did not study after Matric. I worked in a highly technical industry where 99% of the requirements are degree related, yet by being trained in the software, I was equal to and eventually managing those graduates. Due to being "unqualified", I earned 30% of my peers' salary. I managed to have this corrected but it was still difficult to "prove". I am now in a mid-senior level management, so even though I am still in the same industry my role is very different. Again though I feel it was due to my personality traits that I could get into management without having the traditional qualifications that would be expected. My peers was/are on MBA tracks. I have never been for an interview even, so I do feel I was lucky.

    Another point is we made some hires over the last few months, for which we need a certain level of technical experience, but with some ambition towards sales. We had about 100+ applicants of which 5 or 6 had the profile we needed, and then of which 1 person was an easy call to make. We are also hiring a junior person, with no experience, just finished studies but asked the most intelligent questions of anyone during the interview.

    So overall in my opinion I don't feel like a qualification should be relied on when seeking. Personality is probably not the right word, more like how you project yourself, but this to me is the no 1 "thing" in my opinion. A qualification is a foot in the door, but doing homework and building your story is the sell.

    Something else I want to also add is I often get the impression a qualification has a ceiling in terms of career. To me at some point, to progress further, you need to change what you do, if its going into management or whatever works in your industry.

    I wonder who else has similar, or opposing views to this?

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    Team Fit + Experience is more important than any qualification when it comes to hiring staff from my perspective.

    No point in hiring a super qualified individual who cannot vibe with the rest of the team.

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    SauRoN (June 26th, 2018)  

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    Ultimately I think it's going to depend vastly on industry, specific job level and also specific requirements.

    Also it plays a lot into how long you see the person sticking around.

    For instance someone with qualifications at ground level often have a overestimation of themselves based purely on having a qualification. This can make it very difficult to work with them or even get them in a role as they think they are better than it and need to be paid a fortune even though they have no experience.

    Someone without a qualification is often more pliable and mold-able and can be groomed better for a given position as they don't come with pre-conceived notions of what things should be like but rather slot into the reality of what things are actually like in the real world and just roll with it.

    Personality as a stand alone trait is often nothing more than the ability to bull**** and those are the types who stick around in a job for six months at which point everyone realizes they are in fact clueless and usually they move on to the next thing of their own accord. Ultimately a waste of space.

    So personality really should be combined with the other two options to provide some merit and yes it's what gets your qualification/experience to go further by applying your soft/social skills to get yourself where you need to be.

    I think qualifications will often get you in the door more easily and even fast forward your track up the ladder but at some point if you don't gather experience while you are there it will be short lived and you find yourself moving around a lot.

    People with experience are the ones who tend to stick around and don't chase the next best thing.

    At the end of the day you won't climb the ladder with only a qualification or experience and a degree of social engineering (personality) is required to make that happen.

    There isn't any hard and fast perfect formula.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauRoN View Post
    For instance someone with qualifications at ground level often have a overestimation of themselves based purely on having a qualification.
    This is an important point from my experiences, as often I find society feeds this assertion.

    Something else related to this, are people doing the same work for years expecting promotions based on seniority.

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    Experience + Personality.

    Qualifications a nice to have but means jack sh*t if you can't apply anything you were supposed to know.

    Experience - At least the person knows what is expected of him/her.

    Personality - If someone shows their eagerness to actually work and learn. With a positive let me try at least attitude. That could pay off in the long run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by williegawie View Post
    Something else related to this, are people doing the same work for years expecting promotions based on seniority.
    Oh yeah that grinds my **** no end.

    If you are washing dishes for 10 years you are still just a dishwasher. 10 years of doing it has it's limit of making you better at it and then you hit the ceiling.

    You don't automatically get a promotion for doing the same thing longer and in some cases you can't really do it better either. You need to be doing something different or new to push yourself up to something else.
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    In our industry experience definitely trumps qualifications - I don't care what degree or qualification you have unless you can actually do the work. A big thing in the dev space is problem solving and structuring and being able to come up with solutions and learning new technologies/frameworks etc. in a short amount of time.
    BUT I would still rather take someone with the right attitude (that does not necessarily have the experience) and willingness to learn than someone who's senior, has a lot of experience but doesn't have the right attitude.

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    This depends heavily on the industry. In a lot of places where you do consulting work, the client won't accept someone without a degree. I recall a case with an older guy who had 30 years of experience. His knowledge far outstripped everything the rest of us had, but the client wasn't interested because he didn't have a degree.

    Places that I've been at view the degree (especially post grad) as showing that the person had the work ethic to get through it. It's viewed as a basic starting point, nothing more.

    Also, I don't want to see a doctor or dentist who doesn't have a degree. I wouldn't hire a lawyer without a degree. If I'm looking for a programmer, then I care a lot more about experience and knowledge of the required tools.

    Mostly what I've seen is that degree + experience is enough to get you in the door. If your personality is bad, you're not getting hired - or you're not lasting long. You're better off having someone who fits in with the environment. If that's not possible... leave the position open. Hiring someone with the wrong personality will decrease the productivity of everyone else around them.

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    Common sense trumps everything imo, anyone with a shred of common sense can pretty much end up doing any job without any experience or qualifications.

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