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Why you should hire people out of your sector

Posted on 23rd May 2022

Industry experience is one of the first things most employers look for when hiring. But how about zero industry experience? Can that be a good thing? Surprisingly, it can. Here’s why.

  1. Innovation and adaptability

People from outside your industry won’t have industry fatigue and can bring in new and fresh ideas, opening the door to innovation. They also won’t be set in their ways or have any bad habits to break–people who are new and learning are more adaptable and open.

  1. Transferable soft skills

The importance of soft skills like good communication, organisation and problem-solving is now universally recognised–and soft skills themselves are universal. You don’t need experience in any specific industry to have them. In fact, the more you prioritise soft skills, the more beneficial it is to widen your talent pool beyond your industry to find candidates with the qualities you need.

  1. Transferable hard skills

You might also be surprised at the transferable hard skills you’ll find in people from very different professional backgrounds. For example, energy companies are hiring ex-military personnel for their engineering skills as well as their leadership skills.

  1. Discovering new potential

While skills are important in hiring, potential may be even more so. Being willing to develop people with potential rather than limiting yourself to exact skills matches not only gives you more choice, it also creates grateful and loyal employees.

  1. Growing your talent pool

In the current talent drought, looking further afield may be vital. If you’re finding passive candidates and employee referrals are thin on the ground, it’s time to widen your talent pool.

  1. Demonstrating diversity

Each industry tends to attract people from similar backgrounds, so if you’re trying to create a more diverse workforce but all your available candidates tend to look the same, you’ll do well to look beyond your own industry.