It is a common practice among employers to hire candidates who belong to the same industry as the hiring organization. Having an educational background or relevant experience or even a combination of both in a certain field gives an added advantage to a candidate applying for a position in that field. While having industry knowledge is useful, including candidates from outside the sector can bring much value to an organization. In this article, we shall see the benefits of adopting an innovative recruitment approach whereby considering candidates from different fields for various positions can help an organization in multiple ways.

Industries should look outside their areas of expertise because of benefits employers get

Primarily, industries can benefit from having an outsider perspective on their workings. They can also learn about new and innovative solutions to challenges. For instance, many corporate leaders have transitioned to leadership and governance positions in the social sector. It has helped these non-profit organizations gather better financial understanding and organizational skills to coordinate administrative responsibilities.

Sometimes organizations hire outside their networks solely to achieve this purpose. Government ministries recruit people from the private sector to incorporate a more commercial perspective within their area of work. This helps departments to grow quickly and also assist their peer organizations in attaining stability.

When you consistently hire people with the same background, you run the risk of recycling the same ideas and approaches to work. This yields the same results year after year and stagnates growth. Instead, when people from different walks of life come on board, you encourage brainstorming of fresh solutions to familiar issues which gives you different outcomes than before, which allows development and innovation.

Transferable skills

One of the most important reasons for going beyond traditional recruitment systems is the need to have diverse skill sets within your organization. Some positions have the same criteria and skill requirements across multiple industries, so it is a logical decision to hire from a different sector.

For example, energy companies try to recruit ex-military officers since they possess many valuable hard skills that are also transferable. Having skills like engineering and leadership makes these officers well-qualified to work for such companies even though they are new to the industry. Choosing candidates with transferable hard skills, therefore, can be an asset for your organization. With the help of a recruiting agency like TalenX, you can find candidates from varying industries who would bring valuable hard skills into your company.

In addition to hard skills, possessing soft skills is also necessary to fill certain types of positions. Analytical thinking, good communication, leadership skills, problem-solving ability, and initiative-taking roles are highly sought after. These skills do not apply to just one industry – rather, they are essential across multiple industries. So, by widening your hiring search, you are more likely to connect with candidates who have several of these qualities.

For instance, though construction companies may opt to recruit managers from their own fields, there are several industries where the ability to oversee high-quality projects is sought after. Problem-solving skills and analytical thinking capabilities are required in various industries, and talent can be sourced from outside these industries to fill vacant positions.

Innovation and flexibility

Another advantage of hiring candidates from outside the same sector is that it enables innovation to occur. A person who does not have experience with your industry is less likely to have industry fatigue and can bring different ideas to your workplace. Though it might appear safer to bring in a candidate from within your industry, hiring someone from a different field can add more value to your organization in the long term. It could enable people to add different perspectives and innovative changes that would benefit your company’s growth over time.

Those who are new to your industry are also going to be more adaptable and eager to adopt different methods of working. By comparison, candidates who have been working in the same industry can become comfortable with their manner of doing things and therefore be more reluctant to change. Candidates who have less experience with your industry can be utilized and trained to make positive contributions to your organization.

Identifying and developing potential

In addition to the right skills, potential is also a crucial factor when making hiring decisions. Finding candidates who have potential is a great way to develop an employee and build their career with your company. It also allows the employee to stay engaged with the organization for a long time and improves your company’s retention rate.

For instance, the young generation is interested in finding opportunities that allow personal and professional development. By offering such opportunities, you can target employees who would fit well with your company’s work culture. Offering promotion, professional development workshops, and mentorship would make your employees loyal.

Emphasizing potential over skills and past work experience expands your talent pool and brings to your attention a range of candidates with suitable aptitudes. When you focus on factors that are not strictly in your job description checklist, you have a greater chance of recruiting someone whose values would align more closely with your team dynamic.

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns hiring managers reportedly have about hiring employees from outside their field is whether such candidates will stay. After all, once the market conditions improve, people could move back to their former position or industry. The key to eliminating these risks is to perform a thorough assessment of people’s potential, their motivations, and abilities. Asking behavioral questions at interviews and performing psychometric assessments can help determine whether someone is interested in working for and staying with your company. Find a candidate with the right skills, but it is also vital to find someone with the right motivation and cultural fitness.

People with the right aptitude often become excellent performers quicker than the rest because they possess the willingness and interest to learn different things. Such people are also more inclined to remain with your organization for a longer time and become involved in your succession plans while enjoying the benefits and challenges of working in a different industry.

Showing adaptability and diversity

During challenging times, companies that are willing to be adaptable and bend their rules to adjust to market conditions are the ones that can survive and even thrive. In some instances, human resource professionals may feel too comfortable with their established rules of working that it becomes a burden to them to modify rules when market conditions change. Rigorously following set protocol without thinking about the impact it can have upon outcomes can make people short-sighted and prohibit them from being productive.

In contrast, someone who has less experience in a field may be more open to diverse approaches and brainstorm creative ways of adapting to challenging circumstances. A relevant factor is considering candidates who come from diverse ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. By engaging such individuals, a company can stay relevant with the times while giving someone an opportunity to bring their unique perspective to a business.

Possible decrease in payroll costs

Companies often find themselves offering higher salaries when recruiting employees from competitor organizations as a motivation to join them instead of leading to a budget deficit in the future and a burden on the company’s payroll.

By comparison, when hiring someone from another industry, the chances are that they do not know what an optimum salary is for the considered position. You are also not competing with your peer organizations in offering an attractive salary. Consequently, you may have some ability to negotiate compensation and offer a salary that is amenable to your future employee. It also will not stretch your organization’s budgetary capacity by a large amount.

Growing your talent pool

Traditional recruitment methods may not always help you to reach your desired candidate pool. You may be exhausted from not finding much variety in the types of candidates. Or you may notice that passive candidates are not responding to your messaging as much and that employee referral programs are not giving you a variety of candidates.

In such cases, you need to look beyond your existing candidate pool and connect with people from different industries. This could help introduce you to potential employees having transferable skills that could greatly benefit your organization. Broadening your recruitment efforts can also help you build a more diverse work culture. Candidates having different educational backgrounds, diverse ethnicities, and different experience levels can prove to be assets for your organization.

If you need assistance with hiring a candidate from a different sector, TalenX can help you locate the right fit for your organization. With a range of tools for talent acquisition and management, you can be certain to find the right talent for your organization’s needs.

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