We were discussing the concept of professional experience with Michalis Konstantoulakis today and what the correct way to evaluate a potential candidate is.
Neither of us is a fan of just counting years of experience, simply because this metric severely lacks business context, even if the candidate's CV includes performance metrics.
To me, the combination of professional "shocks" with years of experience in competent positions is the right mix when it comes to evaluating someone.
If I had to choose only one though, I would choose shocks.
Examples of Professional "Shocks":
- Leading a significant transformation within a traditional company,
- Making a substantial contribution towards solving a significant business/process/organizational problem,
- Successfully transitioning into another domain or department,
- Having a successful experience as an interim executive,
- Launching a truly innovative feature/campaign/project,
- Successfully turning around business performance,
- Developing a competent team from scratch,
- Founding a startup, whether successful or unsuccessful.
As a note, you can see that I don't necessarily describe a successful experience here, since we mainly evaluate the experience of a shock, rather than the result.
We are actively searching for individuals who have experienced these shocks in their professional journey and have somehow managed to successfully cope with them.
If you think about it, these “shocks” are like shortcuts. There are a lot of people (and quotes) which insist that there are no shortcuts (ex. there is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs) but these shock moments are like shortcuts. They are shortcuts because they include condensed experience and high risk.
Last but not least, I found this post on IG that implies almost the same.