Neil Tambe

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I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

Hiring for industry knowledge - why?

I’ve never understood why industry experience is listed as a required qualification for management positions on most job postings. It seems like such a low priority for most roles, especially outside the senior executive ranks, because:

  • Compared to leadership and managment skills, industry knowledge is easy to learn
  • Compared to technical skills, industry knowledge is easy to learn
  • Motivation and a learning disposition has nothing to do with industry knowledge
  • In a company, there is likely no shortage of current staff with industry knowledge

I would concede, it’s hard to succeed right out of the gate without industry knowledge. 

But why not treat it as a bonus instead of a qualification? It seems to me that most other qualifications are probably a lot more important, and demanding industry experience seems like it’d be a heavy deterrent to otherwise great candidates. 

Related from Michael Roberto:


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