Why Experience is Overrated in the Workplace

When hiring new employees it’s easy to overlook candidates who are short of experience in the workplace, but are you making a huge mistake? All you need to do is look to entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson. Even with a lack of experience these individuals created business empires at a young age. So, why do people overestimate the importance of experience on business or career success?

Not all experience is good experience.

Trying to measure the level of an individual’s experience is more difficult than it sounds. Imagine you are hiring a new member of staff. The time in a position or knowledge and skills learned on the job does not mean that an individual has suitable experience. Their working experience could be outdated, irrelevant or specific to their previous role.

Make sure you can distinguish individuals with negative experience from those with positive experience – this is key to hiring the right person. Be wary of hiring someone just because they have spent a lot of time within a company. You do not know whether this time was productive or beneficial. As well as this, ensure that any previous experience is relevant. An employee doesn’t necessarily have to have similar experience; more importantly is the transferable skills they have learned that they can carry into their new position.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

In recent years, the idea of ‘intrapreneurship’ has really taken off. This is the notion of possessing strong entrepreneurial qualities and utilising these skills within a large company. Employers are increasingly seeking innovative and natural leaders in a bid to modernise their business. According to Forbes, over 40% of millennial employees are very interested in working in an environment where this behaviour is encouraged and not constrained.

The younger, less experienced ‘millennial employee’ is more likely to possess these attributes. According to the Huffington Post young employees have a different set of challenges and fewer boundaries in today’s workplace. Individuals with little experience have no expectations and can therefore adapt to big changes. They can also offer a completely fresh perspective and be shaped to fit their precise role. In some cases, a lack of direct experience is actually a hug asset.

Working does not make success.

Just because an individual has got many years of working experience under their belt does not mean they are successful. A great example of this is by thinking of some of history’s greatest entrepreneurs. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both started up while they were still at University. We don’t even need to say how successful they became. On the other hand, some white collar workers work for years and years in the same role without progressing.

Experience is not a key indicator of success or performance in the workplace. If you are conducting interviews, you may want to consider interviewing individuals of a range of work experience and skill level.

Ripley Training

If you would like to develop your leadership skills we have a range of courses to suit your needs. Our Navigating Through Change course will help you if you want to apply changes within your own organisation.

We can create 121 Coaching sessions or In-House Training courses to suit your needs. If you would like to enquire about a specific course then please call us today on 01423 861 222.

How to write an effective press release

Writing press releases is a common form of media relations activity, as a means of generating positive goodwill about your company or brand. Many small businesses may not have the budget to outsource their public relations activity to a PR agency, and so they may decide to do it in-house. So, if you need to write a press release, we’ve put together some useful tips on how to write an effective press release to get your news featured in the media.

Where do press releases generally go wrong?

A press release should contain newsworthy content. By newsworthy, this means: why should anyone care about your news? The problem with many press releases is when the company is trying to overtly sell or promote something about their organisation; or the news simply isn’t interesting – such as your office has just upgraded its water cooler!

What can you do to make your press release better?

A great press release attracts the attention of a journalist or editor, in order to get your news featured in their publication. Try following these steps to get your press release from good – to great:

1. Make sure your news is newsworthy.

Make sure your announcement has some news values such as timeliness, uniqueness or something truly unusual. Be clear in your mind why this information is of interest to this particular journalist/editor, and the publication’s audience. Look at the publication’s features listing/calendar, and if they’re focusing on a particular topic in a particular month that is relevant to your business, tailor your news to fit in with this.

2. Use the headline and first paragraph to tell the story

You have just a matter of seconds to grab your readers’ attention. Don’t blow it with a weak opening!

o Summarise the whole story in the first paragraph (as journalists edit a press release from the bottom up)
o Don’t try and be clever with the headline (as this will usually be written by the publication)

3. The rest of your press release should provide the detail

o Use the second and third paragraph to expand the theme of the first paragraph
o Add interesting background information and evidence to back up the claims you’re making
o Include quotations and endorsements (make sure whoever you have quoted has approved these in advance)

4. Convey the essence of the story within the first few lines (‘Five Ws’)

o Who is it about?
o What is it about?
o Where did it happen?
o When did it happen?
o Why is this beneficial/useful/unique etc?

5. Include a photo

A photograph is often the first thing a journalist will look at before your press release, so a photo truly does say a thousand words! If you’re including a photograph, add brief details at the bottom of the release so the journalist can check the details and/or request another copy.

6. Write as you’d like the copy to be used

In today’s digital world many online media outlets may pick up your press release and run it in their publications with little or no modification, however, on occasion, journalists will use your press release as a springboard for a larger feature story.

In either case, try to develop a story as you’d like to have it told. Editors often delete whole sections/paragraphs when they publish, so make sure each paragraph is able to stand alone, and still make sense without the surrounding copy. Even if your news is not reprinted verbatim, it may provide an acceptable amount of exposure.

7. Illustrate the story

Use real life examples about how your company has solved a problem, and do so by demonstrating why your company/brand is the right solution for a particular audience. Use real life examples to powerfully communicate the benefits of using your product or service – for example: if you’re reporting on a corporate milestone, make sure that you attribute your success or failures to one or more events. Or, if your company has experienced significant growth, tell the world what you did right. Show the cause and effect!

8. Stick to the facts and be concise

Remember to tell the truth. Avoid fluff and exaggerations because journalists are naturally skeptical and will avoid using anything they think has been embellished. Avoid using unnecessary adjectives, clichés, flowery language, bad grammar, or redundant expressions such as “added bonus”.

9. Don’t scream BUY ME!

A press release isn’t an advertisement. A good press release’s primary role is to inform, not sell.

10. Include a summary paragraph

Some distribution points only receive your headline, summary and a link to your press release; therefore if you fail to include a summary paragraph, you may reduce the effectiveness of your press release. Your press release should end with a short paragraph (often referred to as a ‘company boilerplate’ as part of a ‘Notes to Editors’ section) that describes your company, products, services and a short company history.

Ripley Training

We provide high quality accessible training to help businesses like yours develop effective Public Relations and Media Skills.

Get in touch with us today to see how we can help your business and boost your brand’s exposure with effective PR.

What Type of Leader Are You?

“Leadership is the art of getting someone,
to do what you want done, because they want to do it.”
- Dwight Eisenhower

Much scholarly research has gone into to categorising the main leadership ‘types’ – but do you know which one you are? We’ve broken down the main types of leader, based on Dan Goleman’s ‘emotional intelligence’ model, for you to see which one you identify with the most.

What do Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King all have in common? They were all great leaders. Whilst all extremely different in personality and leadership style they were all able to inspire people to take action. There are as many ways to lead, as there are leaders, but luckily for business people, there has been much development in the frameworks that describe the mains ways people lead and the different types of leader.

By understanding these frameworks, you can develop your own approach to leadership, and become a more effective leader as a result. According to Dan Goleman, there are six distinct emotional styles of leading a team: Continue reading

Case Study: A day in the life of a Ripley Trainer

This week, we’re taking a look at what life’s like for a trainer at Ripley Training. From running open courses, to leading bespoke in-house training programmes, our founder Mike Smith is in a great position to be able to shed some light on this – so Mike has shared his experiences in our latest case study blog. Look out for some of the most memorable moments… Continue reading

Effective Time Management – How to manage your time more effectively

We all have the same 10,080 minutes in a week. But why is it that some people are just so much more productive with their time? Does it sometimes feel like time is slipping away and you haven’t finished all of your tasks? We’re taking a look at time management and how you can manage your time more effectively.

“There are no secrets to success. Don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of hard work, persistence and learning from failure.”

- Colin Powell Continue reading

Can Harmony Exist between your Sales and Marketing Teams?

It’s obvious that Sales and Marketing teams should work together. But at so many companies, that just doesn’t happen and the ‘war’ between the Sales and Marketing department can cause real problems. We’ve outlined some of the key issues Sales and Marketing teams face when working together, with some practical tips on how to get sales and marketing working together in a coordinated effort to achieve the ultimate goal: revenue. Continue reading