The bubble of the job-rich market post-Covid was always bound to burst at some point, and it certainly has in 2023. It's a much easier time to hire now than it was 12-18 months ago. Redundancies have seen more candidates enter the market and there are many others who are looking to move. With little opportunity available to them, it's meant employers are able to be ultra-selective when looking to hire.
“While it is out of our control and temporary in nature, the thing that truly frustrates me about hiring managers is their narrow-minded focus on recruiting exclusively from one particular industry. Consider the incredible pool of talent that might be overlooked as a result of this approach.”
I understand why it's done. I'm a hiring manager myself and know that taking someone from a competitor makes for easier onboarding. There's less subject matter training and it also offers some insight into how businesses in our space are doing things.
Diversity is great for performance
But if that's all we did, we're never going to get a more diverse perspective. It stifles innovation and limits new ideas from people if we have nobody to question why things are the way they are.
By setting hiring requirements exclusively limited to your industry, you inadvertently restrict the talent pool to a much smaller size. Although we may currently have a surplus of candidates in the market, allowing for inclusion from other industries can introduce individuals with a more diverse skillset. These candidates can bring fresh ideas and a broader range of skills above and beyond what you thought you needed.
This diverse pool of candidates will also be more motivated by the challenge of getting to grips with a new industry.
Let's say you're a Senior Designer working for a retail business, what's the incentive to move into the same role with another retailer aside from a little bit more money? The commute, maybe. More flexibility, sure. But otherwise, looking for a like-for-like employee from your own industry means you'll be making a sideways move that is unlikely to be in anyone's long-term interests.
The grass is not always greener
Another deterrent to hiring from another industry seems to be the perceived notion that the pace of things elsewhere is far slower. But guess what? Every industry thinks the same about their own industry! Pace can be different in every business regardless of industry but, on the whole, we're all busy. We've all got deadlines and things that were needed yesterday. You're not the only ones managing a high workload.
Urgent hiring is counterproductive
One of the other key issues is that hiring is often an afterthought. Usually, there's been a resignation leaving a gap with an immediate need to fill. Projects are on the go and a replacement has to hit the ground running. The line manager and all of the remaining team members are already stretched so nobody has time to properly train or bring someone new, with no industry experience up to speed.
Proper workforce planning, robust onboarding processes, and solid L&D programs are all ways you can alleviate this issue.
If you want to stay ahead of the competition and create a successful team/business you need to be open to hiring talent from all industries. Be open to candidates with different backgrounds and experiences, look for candidates who have a proven track record of success in other industries, be willing to put the time and effort into train and mentor new employees, and create a company culture that is welcoming to people from all walks of life. By doing so, you can open up your talent pool and hire the best people for your company, regardless of their industry experience, who might just add that little bit extra.
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