What’s the Right Experience Set?

January 15, 2010

Over the last few weeks, I have been discussing a few key considerations senior management teams should consider when filling roles to achieve goals, either via recruiting or promotion.

Assuming you’ve determined what goals you want the role to achieve, how much risk you’re willing to tolerate around those goals being met, and what precise skill set an individual needs to achieve those goals, you now need to consider what experience the individual needs to have.

What you are really asking with the experience question is how confident can you be that if you put this candidate into the given role with the given goal, they’ll achieve what they need to achieve and not go outside your risk tolerance. Specifically: 

  • Is there evidence that the candidate has the needed skill set?
  • How confident can I be that the candidate has the needed skill set based on his/her experience? (This ties back directly to your risk tolerance around the goal achievement.)
  • How does the context of this candidate’s skill set map to the situation they’re coming into right now? For example, if someone developed and proved out a skill set around building a channel program at a very big company, or several very big companies, that skill set may not transfer well to a smaller expansion stage company.
  • What is the candidate’s track record with other roles of similar circumstance? Have they proved that they can successfully take on new roles and hit aggressive targets?
  • How does the context of the candidate’s track record map to the situation they’re coming into right now? For example, if someone grew sales by 100% selling large $500k enterprise license deals via a field sales team, their track record may have very little correlation with success selling $15k/year SaaS subscriptions over the phone, or via indirect channel.

Next week, I’ll discuss the culture match, which is particularly important when looking at outside hires.

In the mean time, if you are interested in reading more about recruiting, you should check out OpenView’s articles for human resources professionals.

Senior Director Project Management

Igor Altman is Senior Director of Product Management at <a href="https://www.mdsol.com/en/">Medidata Solutions</a>, a leading global provider of cloud-based clinical development solutions that enhance the efficiency of customers’ clinical trials. Prior to Medidata, he worked at OpenView focusing on new investments in the IT space.