WHY I HIRED THE NON-TRADITIONAL CANDIDATE

New Book giveaway!!

20 complimentary copies available.

Leave a comment on this guest post by Dr Dawn Graham, PhD to become eligible to win one of TWENTY complimentary copies of  “Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers — and Seize Success.”

(Deadline: 6/29/2018)

*International winners will receive digital versions.

As leaders, we’ve become lazy hirers.

New technology like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), one-way video interviews and text recruiting have promised to make the task of hiring new employees faster and more effective, but in many cases has only served to shift our biases to a complex algorithm.

We lean toward the “traditional” applicant because she:

  • Understands the industry “lingo” and acronyms
  • Knows the key players and how to partner with them
  • Recognizes what they’re signing up for
  • Can navigate the culture and anticipate the obstacles
  • Says all the right things in the interview
  • And, can hit the ground running without much hand holding

So why would a Hiring Manager ever take a risk on a career switcher?  Here’s why I did.

  1. She networked and was referred to me by someone I trust. (e.g., she came in already having a strong endorsement).
  2. She was able to clearly and concretely articulate how her skills and experience would lead to relevant results in the role. (e.g., she effectively re-branded her background)
  3. She demonstrated commitment to the career switch by participating in industry events and regularly posting content about the field on social media. (e.g., this change wasn’t a “whim”).
  4. She had been keeping up with the market in anticipation of the job change and brought practical fresh ideas and perspectives to the role. (e.g., she did her homework).
  5. Her “career story” was genuine, logical and supported by actions (e.g., she had a clear plan for how this career would fit into her longer-term goals).

Not all career switchers will pan out and not all “traditional” candidates will be stellar. However, many hiring managers quickly jump to the “safe” choice, which means you may be missing out on the best choice.

What hiring practices have helped you find the ‘right’ candidates?

More about Dawn:

Dr Dawn Graham, PhD is one of the nation’s leading career coaches. She is the Career Director for the MBA Program for Executives at The Wharton School, where she counsels business leaders on making strategic career choices. A licensed psychologist and former corporate recruiter, she hosts SiriusXM Radio’s popular weekly call-in show Career Talk and is a regular contributor to Forbes.