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Look beyond titles

Published on Saturday, 13 Sep 2014

I am often asked by candidates how transferable their experience is from one industry to the next. Frustrated by how often they are told that because they don't have financial services experience, for example, they cannot transfer their "project management, process improvement and stakeholder engagement" skills to another industry, I find myself regularly engaging in conversation to bolster confidence and to remind hiring managers and candidates alike that their skills are indeed highly transferable.

In fact, a fresh perspective on how business processes can be improved, whether it be in manufacturing, financial services or other sector, can be of great commercial value to a business.

Understandably, there is a natural caution associated with hiring someone who hasn't done the exact role in a similar industry before. The potential cost of a mistake in this hiring decision can be significant.

We do, however, know that when it comes to hiring and retaining truly top talent, you need to be able to offer a challenging and interesting role. A similar role in a different business, even with a financial jump, is not enough if you truly want to attract top talent. It is this group in particular that will easily get bored if they feel underutilised and insufficiently challenged. An opportunity therefore to use one's transferable skills, whether that be project management, general management or otherwise, is a superb way for businesses to attract the best and brightest in the market.

"Round pegs for round holes" can feel safe to a hiring manger or HR business partner, but looking beyond job titles and industries is one of the best mechanisms a business has for hiring true top performers, and keeping them.

 

 

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