Measuring Experience

Do you have 5 years experience, or one year of experience repeated 5 times?

Using ‘years of experience’ as a metric to determine someone’s skills and competencies is often not a safe bet.

I have worked with highly ‘seasoned’ HR professionals who lacked many foundational skills, and also many junior practitioners who could run circles around their more ‘experienced’ colleagues 🙈

My first job in HR I worked for a NZX50 listed company with 1000+ employees. I worked there for a little over a year and a half, and in that time I;

✏️was exposed to and supported multiple restructures
✏️was exposed to union negotiation and bargaining processes
✏️supported the recruitment of approx 100 staff
✏️created approximately 100 contracts
✏️supported around 50 ER disciplinaries and terminations etc
✏️supported a company wide performance review process
✏️project managed a significant recruitment system change

All alongside my postgrad diploma in HR, and all with the job title ‘HR Coordinator’.

Meanwhile, an HR Business Partner who had worked in small or medium sized corporations for 5+ years might not have done close to half of what I had.

I have been in HR now for only 8 years working for and with large corporates and small businesses and running my own consultancy

However, I truly feel like I have lived and experienced a typical 20+ year career 🤭

Would I pass the test for a recruiter asking for 10+ years experience?

I certainly don’t want to detract from anyone’s career experience, I am just demonstrating that a lot can be packed into a short time, and in contrast, very little can be done over a long period too.

So instead of measuring experience in terms of ‘year’s – maybe it’s time we measure experience in terms of um, experience? 😝

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