I remember the first time I heard the word “seasoned”, I wasn't quite sure why you would say that about a person. My immediate thought was that too much seasoning is not necessarily palatable and aging seasoning is often rancid. Back then, I did not know that "seasoned" had also meant "fit for use" or "acclimatized, accustomed" for centuries. Did I feel much more comfortable with the word? Not really...
- Seasoned people may be fit for immediate use. They are relevant if the employees that we are looking for are to be simple cogs in a corporate machine or if the task they are assigned is completely defined with no room for change. Yet, do all the positions we have to "fill" follow this exact pattern? Chances are that they don’t — unless an entire company is outsourcing-ready. So we may want to look for people not too ideally "fit for use," but instead, those who are ready to learn, are fit for future use and fit for new purposes.
- Seasoned people may be a great asset if the goal is to always conduct business as usual, i.e. where everything must be done in an ordinary way. Yet, what happens when decisions are to be made because something extraordinary happens? How fast or well do they react? How effective can they become if you need to "rewire the way you work to succeed in the consumer revolution." In other words, give them Brian Solis's great book "The End of Business As Usual," and quiz them about what they think of it before you hire them if your company is competitive and/or on a growth path!
Yes, we all must be "seasoned" to some extent, but "seasoned" recruiters may be the ones who are capable of deconditioning themselves continuously in order to better read who people are behind the screens of clichés and optimally serve an unremittingly changing business environment.