Where did this idea of 'minimum 5 year experience' stem from?

Monday 2 September, 2013
You finally find your dream job '“ great location, promises of career development, doing something which you love '“ it's perfect. You go to apply and then note one of the main job criteria: 'Minimum of five years experience in a similar role'?. It seems that just about every job posting has this requirement '“ from dental assistants to baristas '“ every employer wants someone who knows their stuff. From a business perspective, this is understandable. Training staff can take time, money and other resources from a business. They want to hire an individual who can fill the shoes of their previous worker, step right in and get the ball rolling. But is five years really necessary and where did this number come from? It's true that many professions require individuals with specific training, qualifications and experience. We certainly wouldn't want a surgeon operating on us if they'd come straight out of university and I think most of us would agree that we couldn't become the CEO of a company like Apple without some prior experience. But for many jobs posted and advertised on the web and in papers today, these minimum experience requirements seem overstated. Have you ever lied about your experience in a role? Do you need five years experience to be a waiter at a café? Are these 'experience requirements' necessary? Let OneShift know. Many jobs, baristas, bar tenders, journalists, sporting coaches, admin staff, music teachers and PR advisors (to name a few) can be learnt 'on-the-job'. By creating these 'experience requirements' employers are shutting out many keen, eager, university graduates or younger job seekers who may actually be more suited to the role. Young people are generally more capable in using technologies, have less 'external' commitments such as young families and are usually willing to settle for a lower wage if they don't have all the training needed to complete the role. Hiring younger people can also create workplace diversity, help bring in new ideas to the company and new approaches to doing things and will ensure that when some of the older employees working for the business decide to leave or retire, that someone will be there to replace them that has been trained through their knowledge and skill sets. It's already hard for young people to get a job, and these 'minimum experience' requirements are making the process even harder. It's important that businesses give this younger generation a go before they make judgments about their capabilities to perform the roles.
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