Why your brokerage needs young blood

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Inexperience can benefit your whole organization, argues one business writer.

Hiring can make and break small businesses, and a common complaint is that it’s hard to find applicants with enough knowledge of the industry. However top brokerages often don’t look for knowledge, they look for drive. Business author Liz Wiseman, writing in the Harvard Business Review, has outlined why inexperience can actually be a valuable asset.

Acquiring expertise

Although this sounds incredibly counterintuitive, newcomers could expand your knowledge base. Newcomers are willing to learn, and are forced to be proactive in doing so; Wiseman claims they connect with five times as many people in doing so as their more experienced peers.  For newcomers to flourish, it’s important you make the new hire comfortable seeking advice.

Expanding into new areas

Being “clueless,” Wiseman insists, also helps newcomers be fearless, because they don’t know how hard a particular task may be. Combined with the pressure to succeed, and no niche to fall back on, their attitude is ideally suited to businesses looking to move into unknown territory.

Driving innovation

Wiseman’s third argument brings to mind images of eager twenty-somethings teaching bemused superiors how to use Facebook. However what makes newcomers special, explains Wiseman, is not their specific skill sets, but the speed at which they learn and improve. As they seek to fill knowledge gaps, they’re far more likely to develop new ideas then their older and more comfortable colleagues.

To bring the best out of newcomers, Wiseman concludes, leaders should focus less on basic training and more on giving new staff an immediate and relevant set of challenges to overcome.

Read the original HBR article here.

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