Experience plays a huge role in any hiring decision. However, it can be difficult to decide how much experience is really needed for your position. Since applicants with and without previous training can both bring unique characteristics to the workplace, we compared older and younger applicants on five critical traits to help you decide which is best for your job.

Willingness to learn

Applicants that are new to the workforce are usually more impressionable than seasoned candidates. Newcomers are especially excited to learn how your business operates and how they can succeed as a first-time employee.


Older applicants tend to understand the importance of punctuality better because they’ve seen how tardiness can put a strain on everyone. Punctual people also tend to be more organized and realistic so look for signs of these traits during an interview to determine their reliability.


The old reputation of teens being “lazy” just doesn’t apply anymore. Today’s youth are full of ambition. Younger applicants are eager to prove their worth and conquer anything. Ask candidates about their heroes and goals to uncover just how ambitious they are.


If you need someone who can hit the ground running, the easiest way to judge ability is by looking for experience. Experienced applicants usually have the competence, intelligence and strength that is needed. But beware of judging solely on the past. First-time job seekers are just stars looking for a chance to shine.

Can-do attitude

Experienced applicants have the confidence but younger job-seekers are always so surprisingly cheerful so this one could really go either way. If you’re going to consider hiring an applicant without experience, make sure they have a great attitude by looking at how they’ve overcome challenges in non-work environments.

Experience will always play an important part in hiring decisions. Whether your ideal looks like a seasoned vet or a bright-eyed beginner is up to you but weighing both sides will help you get started on the right path.

Tell us how experience plays a part in your hiring decision by tweeting @SnagajobWorks.