Job descriptions and requirements usually have the phrase “– years of experience required/preferred” but have you ever thought about hiring someone without that experience? The recruitment market is tightening as unemployment falls and applicants have more opportunities to pursue. This is not to say that this strategy will translate to success in every role, but perhaps experience in a different field may open doors to exceptional people you would otherwise exclude. Often, many of those “must have” skills that are transferable if you know where to look. Hiring someone who doesn’t necessarily fit the mold can be beneficial in many ways, but know that it will take some risk and some work.
One great benefit of hiring someone from a different industry is getting a new perspective. A new perspective or point of view can be a great way to increase engagement and innovation. Because they haven’t learned the ins and outs of your company or your processes they might have new ideas or ways to increase productivity. New ideas help the team with effective problem solving and nurture creativity.
You want a diverse workforce, but of course you can’t just advertise this to everyone and interview every applicant, you need to look for people who have transferable skills. What are you really looking for, what direction is your business trying to grow in? Answering these questions take a little more time when thinking of someone from a different industry. Talent Management used this great analogy about transferable skills for car sales, “Martin said he would rather hire someone who’s worked for Louis Vuitton than a former Toyota salesman, as those skills from a luxury brand could translate to luxury car sales.” The candidate would know how to sell luxury goods, not necessarily cars, but they would have skills that could be transferred. Some soft skills are transferable as well. Are they really good at problem solving, or do they have a way of processing things that would be a really great fit? These people may demand a more rigorous training program, but you can teach them exactly how you like things done, rather than have them rely on habits and experience from the past.
Increase Your Candidate Pool
When you recruit people with diverse backgrounds you also increase your candidate pool. This allows you to find great candidates that other companies in your industry may never see. If the candidate values diversity they will be more excited about the opportunity with a company that supports it.
Connect with Your Customers
Having a diverse workforce allows you to better connect with your customers or consumers. Even though you may have a persona that you target to, customer bases are usually diverse and varied. Having a diverse workforce means you can offer more to more people. This could mean many different things all of which would help you connect with more customers. Maybe now you can start offering a bilingual option or you can market to a new demographic. The more backgrounds you have in your company the more backgrounds you will be able to relate to in your customer base.
Here at Menlo Partners we dive deep into what our clients and candidates want to match not only requirements, but skills. If you are looking to switch careers or diversify your workforce give us a call, (650)752-6193.