What You Can Learn About Hiring from Cat-Boarding

By Adam Robinson,
May 29, 2013

How many job board postings have you come across that require X years of experience? You know – those seemingly perfect positions that state, “5-7 years of experience required.” Well, sorry hiring managers, but candidates often disregard such “requirements” in hopes that their resume will still be reviewed and you’ll impressed. 

I’m not going to sit here and lecture you on why experience isn’t the most important aspect you should consider when recruiting and hiring. Chances are that if I did that, you would just click away from this page and check your personal email, scroll through the page of your preferred news source or watch cat videos. 

Now before you roll your eyes and proceed to leave the page, bear with me here. Next time you’re tasked with writing a job description and posting it to job boards, place emphasis on the ability to quickly absorb information rather than experience. Here’s why – in the form a 10 second cat video.

When strolling the halls of their local humane society, the parents (fine, owners) of this cat probably weren’t looking for one that could skateboard. Call me crazy, but I’m going to go ahead and assume they didn’t have a checklist which required their new cat to meet certain criteria. 

Now of course this would be a foolish practice in terms of hiring – you need to outline certain parameters candidates must meet. But there’s some skills and abilities candidates don’t need to have prior experience in to be successful. Sticking with the cat example, in this case it would be the ability to skateboard. 

The cat in this video probably didn’t know how to climb into a box and remain in it while riding a skateboard. But after being taught, s/he figured it out. And now, just three days after being posted, this short video has nearly 500,000 views. 

So what does this mean for your hiring process? A candidate who doesn’t meet your required years of experience should still be given a chance. They may very well surpass your expectations and lead your company down a path of success. …Or at the very least, they may be able to teach your pet how to skateboard. 

Ready to find the job candidate equivalent of a skateboarding cat? Download our guide on the best free hiring tools.

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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