I had a great opportunity to speak to a new Hiring Manager while sitting at our family 4th of July celebration. Over and over I heard, “I need the best and I am not going to settle”. I said, well maybe the best doesn’t exist in your industry, in your timeframe or in your local area. “This is a fast-paced company and we want people that have all ……”. Well that pool is highly sought after and you may not get a chance if you only look inside your industry!!!
I am quite sure that many Hiring Manager feel they must locate a candidate within their own industries for the best fit. They don’t even consider candidates with strong functional experience vs. industry experience. We have found that candidates with exceptional functional experience will take you to the next level quicker. Don’t be that Hiring Manager that follows the industry traditions. Be the Manager that thinks outside the box to locate hidden talent treasures. Traditionally, Hiring Manager’s write job description with the same line items: 1) Education, 2) Years of experience, 3) Industry and Functional experience. HR and Hiring Manager pull out the same job description over and over and expect the best talent to apply for their jobs. If they don’t find the “right candidate” they start tinkering with these variables (less or more). Again, they don’t find what they are looking for in the market.
Let’s start to problem solve, compete and enhance their teams by thinking outside the box. First, look at other industries with the same functional experience. We have found that you may not have the best talent with the best skills within your industry. Pursue industries that are more competitive with a better talent pool. Second, look for candidates that have a history of functional excellence but were required to learn new industries and products. These are the people that have honed their functional skills and have adapted to a wide variety of products and industries. Thirdly, pursue industries that have “like” characteristics such as transformation, high velocity/pace, highly competitive, etc. As always, locate candidates that know how to problem solve, project management skills, collaboration/independent and self-motivated.
Thinking outside the box and taking risks with a high probability of success will allow you to find the talent treasures in the marketplace.