The Majority of today’s youth have a similar path ahead of them:
Step 1: Graduate High School
Step 2: Graduate College
Step 3: Land a job
Not to say that a college degree isn’t worth it—everyone can benefit from further education—but a Bachelor’s degree today is essentially the high school diploma of previous generations.
The current combination of low unemployment in the U.S. and an increasing number of college degrees means two things; job seekers must develop additional hard and soft skills outside of their degree, and employers must be open to hiring job seekers from other industries and knowledge bases.
Fortunately, businesses can experience tremendous benefits by hiring employees from outside industries.
Pop the thought bubble
Thought bubbles only grow thicker with each standard employee hired. Sure, the candidate with 15 years in the industry is always the safe pick, but the candidate with 15 years outside the industry will bring a different set of skills and experiences. The outside candidate may use an unorthodox approach to their job but will also bring a fresh perspective to problem-solving that will help pop the company’s thought bubble.
Perspective: Just like improved problem-solving skills, a diverse workforce can help prevent any collaborating strategies from defaulting to the tried and true methods. When a workforce is only constructed from a select few industry backgrounds, collaboration efforts are more likely to lean toward authority and experience, rather than toward better solutions or strategies.
Combat turnover/easier to hire
Opening your employment options to outside industries expands the number of available job candidates tremendously. Yes, there will always be standards and experience levels that must be met, but adding flexible standards can ease the hiring process. An employer will only increase their chances of finding a top-notch candidate by casting a wider net.
An expanding candidate search does not only apply to a specific job opening but recruiting and networking as well. We all know people from different industries, but employers can tap into these networks too!
A new hire from an outside industry will likely show a great desire to learn. Many people experience a sort of imposter syndrome from time to time and the best way to combat this is through increasing knowledge around the position. The faster this knowledge is attained, the faster a worker will adapt to a position.
Once a new worker adapts, they will likely become more productive. Workers from outside industries lack the accomplishments within your specific niche. They may be more eager to prove themselves and gain confidence that will help them win over their new employer.
Employees from outside industries will become well-rounded as they progress through their employment. They already enter their new job with an entirely different toolbox than current employees and will only grow their arsenal.
Humble employees are both team players and great learners. Employees from outside an industry have much to learn from their everyday processes, coworkers and supervisors. They are eager to learn from their mistakes, move on and contribute to their employer’s success, which ultimately starts with their success too.
Soft skills > Hard skills
The increasing number of well-qualified job seekers is great for the U.S. but bad for hard skills. For instance, large, innovative companies such as Google are more likely to hire based on soft-skills rather than directly due to hard skills and experience.
Sure, a business will always benefit from hiring Mark Cuban as an employee, but it’s his soft-skills that made him successful. His curiosity and passion helped him acquire the industry knowledge, while his communication and negotiating skills helped him thrive as a businessperson.
When hiring, set your standards and qualifications, but dig deep into the candidate’s soft skills. You may find that the candidate with the greatest soft skills has no previous experience in your industry.