Unless you are looking for someone for a director level or VP level position, even manager, most skills can be learned & experiences can be gained. It seems to me that before the recession, hiring managers were more likely to hire you based on how you fit in overall and if you didn’t have all the skills, you’d learn them eventually. However, since the 2008-2009 time frame, hiring managers have become the buyers in the perpetual job search and can buy any house (candidate) they can. So why bother buying the fixer upper when you have a ton of move in ready homes?
I am of the mindset that it is more important to find the person who will be game for anything. It may not make sense to hire the new grad, but if they’ve had any experience, it may make more sense to go that route, not only because it may be more inexpensive (let’s be honest, budgets are always at the fore front) but also because they may be more inclined to learn and do as much as possible for the chance to move up the ladder. At the end of the day, if you hire someone with the exact skill set you are looking for, you may soon realize that that is all they are good at, or that they are less likely to think outside the box.
So I leave you with this, skills can always be acquired and experience can always be gained! Who will you hire next?