Start-up Hiring: Training Young Freshers vs. Hiring Experienced


Aniruddh Parmar

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: May 21, 2021


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When it comes to the growth of a business, it depends majorly on two factors – the revenue model & the people who drive the business, i.e., the workforce. Companies with innovative revenue models and great people working for them are likely to grow faster. Once you have your business model in place, it’s time you get the right people to execute it.

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Companies often find hiring the right candidates a pretty difficult task. This becomes even more challenging and daunting when you are building your company from scratch, i.e., creating your start-up.

An Indian Entrepreneur once said, “Hiring in the early stages is like finding a breakfast place on the highway.”

When evaluating job applications for an open position within your start-up, one expedient matter that comes into the picture is concerning the work experience of the applicants. On one hand, you’ll have experienced professionals who have done similar work and have been serving the industry for years, whereas on the other hand, there will be fresh graduates who will be enthusiastic about achieving success for themselves in the corporate world.

So, who should the start-ups hire?

Let’s have a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of hiring freshers vs. experienced professionals.

Pros & Cons of Training Young Freshers vs. Hiring Experienced Professionals for Start-ups

1. Skill, Knowledge and Experience

Hiring experienced employees can prove beneficial in bridging the skills gap within a start-up. They are competent to hit the ground with little to no training, and they can bring strong leadership skills to the table.

On the contrary, choosing to hire and train freshers also has its own advantages. They are eager to learn new processes than their experienced counterparts; they may have fresh perspectives or ways to approach the given goals, and they are willing to experiment with a variety of roles as compared to someone with work experience.

2. Cost

Undoubtedly, the advantages of hiring experienced professionals are apparent. But, their expertise often comes with an impressive price tag. It is evident that an industry professional boasting an experience of 5 to 10 years claims a higher salary in comparison to a fresher. 

Although the freshers prove cost-effective with reference to salary, they demand a noteworthy investment of time, efforts, training, and resources to acquire proper knowledge about your industry and ramp up their knowledge and skills.

3. Adaptability

Experienced candidates possess a wealth of best practices they have learned back in their professional journey to date. But every company has its way to operate. Thus, they often need to let go of their old practices and mold themselves into the new processes that a start-up wants. This poses a problem for start-ups because the experienced workers more likely continue with their old habits instead of adapting to the start-up’s processes.  

Conversely, start-up hiring prefers young freshers as they can teach them to function as per their organization’s established processes. Moreover, as they lack industry experience, they won’t have any prior habits to break. This can prove beneficial for start-ups.

4. Loyalty

Experienced candidates usually think that they can take up most of the jobs they apply for. If you think “is this possible?”, let us tell you that it holds some significance. So, it can be more challenging to develop loyalty with these experienced professionals.

When it comes to hiring candidates that are new to the industry, it offers start-up an opportunity to develop a relationship with them and create loyalty for their company. If start-ups invest proper time and resources, it can help candidates achieve a sense of employee satisfaction.

5. Impact on Company Culture

Choosing between experienced and inexperienced workers can ultimately impact the culture of the company. Inexperienced candidates are full of energy and curiosity. This may come as a challenge to experienced employees. Thus, freshers can either mold themselves to the existing company culture or bring about a change. Whereas experienced candidates are resistant to adopting a new company culture.

Hence, it is indispensable to see to it that the candidate start-ups hire are a good fit for the company’s culture or have something that can improve the current environment.

Generally, large enterprises have a combination of both – freshers and experienced workforce. Nevertheless, the same strategy might not work for start-ups due to a variety of reasons – be it limited budget or requirement of highly-skilled candidates. Thus, start-up hiring demands business owners to be competent while choosing the applicants.

But, how will start-up ensure appropriate selection between experienced and fresh talents? Well, here’s a quick guide!

When to hire Experienced Professionals?

  • If the start-up is void of someone with a particular skill set that fresher wouldn’t be able to fill.
  • When the internal team is too busy to train the young freshers.
  • If the role is critical and any wrong decisions can land the business into trouble.
  • If the position within the start-up involves people management.
  • When the business is witnessing rapid growth.

When to hire Fresh Talent?

  • If you have internal experts who can train freshers.
  • When the internal team is willing to impart their knowledge and train fresh talents.
  • If the role involves minimal risks to the business.
  • If there is a budget constraint.
  • When the business is observing average growth and can spare time to train young freshers.
  • If your requirement doesn’t match any existing profile in the market, and you need to mold the candidate as per your specific needs.

Though start-up hiring can never be defined, recent studies and hiring trends say that start-ups have started chasing young talent instead of experienced professionals.

Some studies at successful start-ups demonstrate that freshers comprise 55% of the teams, whereas people with five or more years of experience form 15% of the entire workforce in start-ups.

These studies clearly state that start-ups have started investing in freshers significantly.

Why does start-up hiring tend to chase young freshers instead of experienced professionals?

Experienced professionals are often circumspect in joining a start-up. They, in general, prefer getting a stable income, working in a better office, and are hostile to change. Thus, the prevailing perspective of hiring experienced candidates is now changing among start-up recruiters. They are now increasingly investing in freshers.

But why so?

  • Salary Demands

    Well, start-up founders love the fact that freshers don’t have exceptionally high salary expectations. And, this is one of the crucial factors for start-ups to take into consideration.

  • Fresh Energy

    The start-up environment being dynamic, action-oriented, and productive, perfectly matches the energy of a young, fresh candidate. Freshers are always looking forward to how their learning can be implemented in practice in the company.

  • Willingness to learn

    They are eager to learn, and this is a good sign for start-ups. As the hierarchies are not much apparent in a start-up, it can land in favor of freshers since experienced workers take time to work in an environment without a set template.

  • Growth Opportunities

    Start-ups demand persons to adopt different roles. Freshers are enthusiastic about experimenting with a variety of roles so that they can determine their capabilities in a better way. This doesn’t work for experienced professionals.

  • Highly Productive

    Freshers are looking to gain experience. Hence, they can be molded. Again, they are self-motivated and energetic. They absorb all the information and are curious to implement them in a practical sense. This makes them more passionate and results in high productivity. 

  • Value the opportunity

    When provided the opportunity to freshers, they more likely value it. They try their hand at different roles offered and give their best. As they are at the budding stage of their career, they respect what they are given.

  • Stay longer

    If start-up hiring goes right and the right fresher is selected, probably the candidate will stay longer with the start-up and contribute towards its growth, provided that he/she is given the right guidance and environment.

  • Excited to share experiences

    Freshers are likely to share their work experiences with friends on social media platforms openly. This can work as a word-of-mouth for start-ups and garner positive results. 

Today, not only start-ups but also multinational companies prefer to employ freshers rather than experienced professionals. However, this varies depending on the company’s needs and requirements.

Wrapping up

If start-up hiring is done right, it can be an enriching experience for both – the company and the employees. When start-ups hire experienced professionals, they must ensure that the candidate understands the criticality of his role, and the current and future responsibilities. In case start-ups decide to hire fresh talents, they should be ready to invest significant time in training and nurturing the skills of the candidates.

Are you a start-up owner? If yes, do share in the comments section below, what is your start-up hiring strategy – do you prefer a fresh graduate or an experienced professional?

Aniruddh is Blogger and Digital Marketing Specialist at SoftwareSuggest. Ready to grab a cup of coffee anytime if you want to talk about tech, cars, businesses or cricket.

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