Have you thought about hiring outside your industry?

(2 minute read)

If you are like most businesses out there, you haven’t considered looking outside your own industry for top talent. You set hiring parameters that lead to the same talent pool of carbon copies often working for your direct competitors, and sometimes end up paying above market value to get a candidate on board because of his/her proven track record in the same field. In the war for talent, considering a top candidate from another field may just be the competitive advantage your organisation needs.

Why hire outsiders?

Candidates from a different industry can be a source of innovation and a fresh set of eyes bringing with them a new perspective. They can also be more cost effective, and bring renewed energy to their work, as the field is shiny and new, so they won’t find themselves stuck in the same old ways of thinking. Including atypical candidates in your search can also shorten your time to hire, widening your talent pool.

What to look for:

Switching industries can be challenging, so you want to look for specific attributes like resilience, the ability to adapt easily to change, a teamwork mind-set and collaboration skills, as well as an interest in learning. When candidates make the choice to change industries, they are usually looking for an opportunity to diversify their skills and experience, so their continuous learning attitude can mean that they may go on to become some of your top performers.

Candidates to consider:

Types of candidates to consider include business leaders who are there to lead a team rather than manage a specific technical project; sales professionals who can apply a fresh approach within the team; marketing professionals who can apply their knowledge to any industry; and customer service candidates to name a few. Organisations that are agile and comfortable adapting to a rapidly changing industry may be good candidates for trying this out. Bringing in someone with a different background can inject fresh change into the business.

The takeaway:

It’s not always a perfect fit, for example the job might require very specific technical knowledge that someone outside the field doesn’t have. A new hire may be expected to produce immediate results and an outside candidate may need more time. Either way, eliminating these candidates from your search may be a missed opportunity.

maria.meiring@dav.co.za  I  +27 11 217 0000  I  +27 83 459 3656  I  www.dav.co.za

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