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  • Writer's pictureBlue Bull Recruitment

Hiring for Growth: Why Looking Outside Your Industry Can Lead to Success

As a recruitment company specialising in supporting the growth for companies of all sizes, you're probably aware that finding the right talent can be a challenge, especially when competing against larger, more established companies. But have you considered looking outside your industry for potential hires?

In this article, we'll explore why looking beyond your industry can be a smart strategy for companies seeking to build a dynamic and diverse team. Here are a few points to consider:

Fresh perspectives: Hiring people from other industries can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to your team. These individuals may have experiences and skills that are different from what you'd find in your own industry, which can lead to new ways of thinking and problem-solving.

Transferable skills: I always go on about transferrable skills (and I will keep harping on about it too!) Many skills are transferable across industries. For example, someone with marketing experience in the hospitality industry may have the creativity and strategic thinking skills needed to succeed in a marketing role at a tech startup. Don't be too quick to dismiss a candidate just because they don't have direct experience in your industry.

Diversity and inclusion: Looking outside your industry can help you build a more diverse and inclusive team. By casting a wider net, you'll have the opportunity to connect with people from different backgrounds and experiences, which can lead to a more innovative and dynamic team.

Competitive advantage: By hiring from other industries, you may be able to gain a competitive advantage over your competitors who are all looking for talent in the same pool. You may find individuals who have skills or experiences that are in high demand but are in short supply in your industry.

"The best way to get people to think outside the box is not to create the box in the first place" - Martin Cooper

A great example: I was recruiting for an Account Manager for a health brand (Lifestyle health not Medical) and the company wanted X years of experience as an account manager and X qualification.

We struggled to find a candidate that ticked all of the preconceived ideas and boxes of the client's ideal candidate. I have one candidate that had run her own hair salon for 12 years and, unfortunately, lost the salon due to Covid and fancied a change.

When I represented her to the client they were confused as she didn't tick any of their boxes. I pointed out all of the transferrable skills she had:

  • Customer Service (that's an obvious one)

  • Business intelligence ad acumen (She ran a salon with 2 rented chairs and 1 employee)

  • Time management (Managing 2 clients at a time - one with a hair colour and one having a cut)

  • Multi-Tasking (As above and answering the phone, taking appointments etc)

  • Stakeholder management (All of the clients, staff and self-employed)

  • Negotiating (Negotiating with suppliers to get the best deals)

  • Attention to detail and Adaptability (Clients that want a particular style that may not be possible or suitable and ensuring they get the best result)

  • Calm under pressure (A panicked bride the day of her wedding)

This list could go on, but you get the idea. She spent her day listening to clients, calming them down, celebrating their wins, soothing and sympathising with them, offering advice, and doing her job at the same time.

She was invited to interview and smashed it!

She is now coming up to 3 years in the business and is currently in the process of being promoted to Senior Account Manager. Her transferrable skills are invaluable and have bought a new take on the role and offerings of the company, creating a whole new demographic and generating more sales and customers.

Of course, there are some potential challenges to consider when hiring from outside your industry. For example, there may be a learning curve for the new hire as they get up to speed on your industry's unique challenges and jargon. However, with the right support and training, these challenges can be overcome.

By looking outside your industry for talent, you may be able to build a more dynamic, diverse, and innovative team. Give it a try and see where it takes you!

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