I’m a keen supporter of hiring people based on practical skills. Recruiters / hiring managers should look more for people who can actually do the job (hands-on technical interview) and less for people who spent x years in a domain (be it banking, IT, pharma, etc), which doesn’t really say anything.
So here are 10 reasons why I encourage you to consider people with a different working background, that is people who were able to switch between business domains and job roles:
1. They have a broader knowledge by simply being exposed to different domains and different organisations and this helps them sometimes see the bigger picture. A must for product owners and support staff.
2. They have a higher emotional intelligence by interacting with different types of people, with different backgrounds and skills. A quality we seek in all leaders.
3. They bring value through diversity of experience. It helps them empathize better with the customers and understand user needs.
4. It shows they can adapt. People are generally reluctant to change and that is often an obstacle in face of continuous improvement.
5. It shows they are not afraid to make a change when things went the wrong way and most likely that person would not consume your budget into one obsessive idea. They are rational with resources.
6. They are fast learners. They know they are viewed as outsiders and they have to bring their knowledge up to speed in order to keep up. That also implies discipline, perseverance and hard work.
7. They welcome challenges. They willingly sought one, when making a dramatic career change. They are bold. It takes guts to venture into a whole new domain and these people are not afraid of the unknown.
8. They are self-starters. They require less guidance and tend to show more autonomy. Something we’re looking for in all employees.
9. They are generally able to take up new responsibilities and see them through. Nowadays we are forced to re-skill, up-skill, have resource pools.
10. Self-awareness – they know their strong and weak points and how they fit in the situation / plan. By experiencing different situations and roles they know better what they are good, where they excel and what would be better handled by others.