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Hiring from Outside the Company: How New People Can Bring Unexpected Problems

As life-long employment fades and the workforce becomes increasingly mobile, many companies look to hire skilled, experienced workers to improve productivity quickly. Those workers, however, often bring baggage from prior jobs that can negate the benefits of their prior experience, according to new Wharton research.

Rather than hire experienced people from outside, many companies might be better off training fresh recruits with little experience in the industry. That approach can give the firm more control over how the new workers adapt to their employer’s corporate strategy and culture, according to a research paper by Wharton management professor Nancy Rothbard titled, “Unpacking Prior Experience: How Career History Affects Job Performance.” 

“Human resources managers will want to [hire] people who worked in a related industry or firm for the skills they bring. That makes sense from a human capital perspective, but we question whether that’s all they bring with them. Do they bring other experiences … positive or negative?” asks Nancy Rothbard.

Click here to read the full article 


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