Hiring advice_Risks worth taking

Hiring advice
6 Risks it's worth taking when hiring

A candidate has caught your attention and you have a gut feel swaying you towards them, but hiring them would be risky. Whether it’s a gap on their resume or that they don’t have enough industry experience, something is stopping you from making that offer. 

You're investing alot of time and money, from the hiring process to training and developing this person, it's understandable you would be risk averse. However, some of the best recruits are the ones that don't necessarrily fit the mould or match the exact job description to a tee.

1. Too many temp jobs

It can be off-putting when recruiting for a permanent role if a candidate hasn't stayed in one place for two or more years. You might think “can they not commit to one organization for a long period of time? Do they get bored easily?”

Valid questions, but often candidates with this kind of career history take on temporary work for solely positive reasons. Many simply wanted to upskill in as many areas as possible whilst adding a diverse range of experience to their resume. Additionally, often they were early in their careers and trying to get a feel for where their skills, ambitions and talents were best suited.

So why is a candidate like this worth the risk? Firstly, their range of experience won’t only provide you with diverse skills, but also an adaptability to new and unfamiliar environments- this will help them get to grips with the role quicker. 

Lastly, after plenty of career-soul-searching through temp work, they are now looking to you for a permanent commitment, which speaks volumes about how much you appeal to them as an employer and how likely they are to stay and progress within the company.

2. A lot of careers gaps

If a candidate can’t justify these gaps, then perhaps you are right to have your reservations. However be sure to clarify this before making any rash decisions. Just because a candidate hasn’t explained on their resume how they spent these career breaks, doesn’t mean they weren’t being productive. Perhaps they were pursuing training or an academic course, maybe personal reasons such as parenthood or taking care of a loved one meant they couldn’t work.

Most often a career gap means time spent travelling. Some hiring managers may view these individuals as reckless or irresponsible. On the contrary, travelling takes careful planning and budgeting, not to mention it is those individuals who are inquisitive, self-confident, and independent thinkers - the exact soft traits you as a hiring manager should be looking for. These traits show an eagerness to learn, an ability to build a rapport with anyone, whilst thinking outside the box.

3. No industry experience

You have an excellent candidate who has years of experience in an industry that could not be further apart from your own. Yes, it will take them slightly longer to get up to speed with the industry jargon, trends and processes. However, hiring an industry outsider can bring a new perspective to your business. This person isn’t bound by any of your industry’s unquestioned norms and routines, and will, therefore, approach tasks with a completely open and fresh mind.  In addition, this person is willing to switch it up and venture into unfamiliar territory, demonstrating an inquisitive nature, which will benefit any business.

4. They come from a smaller/larger company

A) Larger company: it has given them a wealth of experience and perhaps exposure to global markets.

You're concerned they will get bored working for a much smaller organization. Find out why they are looking to make this change.  A lot of the time, these candidates will be making a smart and strategic move for the sake of their career progression. They hope that working for a smaller organization will give them a chance to take on a role with greater autonomy, where the results of their hard work are more apparent and visible, with better exposure to senior decision makers.

B) Smaller company: you're concerned that they would be out of their depth working for a larger one. Again, find out their motives for the change. Perhaps they need a new challenge and are craving a fast-paced environment surrounded by plenty of inspirational people.

5. Too junior for the position

The position you are hiring for may seem slightly too senior for this otherwise stellar candidate. If this candidate has faith in themselves that they can grow into the role and persevere with getting up to speed, then perhaps you should too. This candidate is obviously ambitious, confident and willing to develop. Much better to hire this type of candidate, than one who has been in a similarly senior position for a number of years, is stuck in their ways and happy to take on a lateral move as opposed to a new challenge.

6. They lack certain hard skills

You have a candidate who is lacking in a skill which comprises just one element of the role, such as being able to use PowerPoint. Yet they have demonstrated the soft skill of being curious and a fast learner, so they will most likely pick this up in a matter of days.

Aside from this skills gap, they are a very desirable candidate and one that you would otherwise hire in an instant. In these cases, ask yourself, do you have the time and resources to teach them, or are they willing to upskill themselves? If so, the risk is worth taking.

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