Breaking The Mold – Are You Always Hiring The Same People?


Think about the people you’ve hired, or the people you are looking to hire. Do you have a “type” when it comes to hiring?

In the recruiting business, we’ve all had clients who LOVE to hire candidates from certain companies or those who went to certain schools. They know the talent, what they work on, what their process is, etc. It’s familiar and comfortable for them, like grandma’s handmade quilt. And is that always a good thing?

On the one hand, this makes sourcing and recruiting easier. We post to that school’s career page and call their career center to see what job fairs they have and how we can reach their students and alumni. We pretty easily get referrals from our employees, as chances are they also have the same background. We quickly type in a Boolean string and have our results. We can easily determine what the supply of this talent currently is in the marketplace.

Sounds great – what’s the problem?

Well, we also certainly struggle when having such a narrow scope. There are only so many people who graduated with a power engineering degree or worked on OPC equipment. At that point we, as recruiters, may hit a wall (which we’re probably banging our heads against a wall trying to think of other ways to reach this niche group of people).

I was recently (pleasantly) surprised when one of my clients told me that while they knew that people coming from Company X would be good, they wanted to see candidates from other companies. They wanted to broaden the team’s knowledge base and add some different viewpoints.

Why ask why?

This made me think: Does hiring candidates with the same background really make for the best company? Do we really want everyone to have the same education, come from the same companies, know the same processes, and do things the same way?

I have come to the conclusion that I am with the second school of thought on this one. So I now push back with my clients to expand their comfort zones and consider people from other companies and schools. Consider people who may not fit into their cookie-cutter molds but who are still great candidates with transferrable skills that can help take their business to the next level.

In addition, this type of diversity may bring a whole new set of perspectives into your workplace or your project. It will most certainly open up the talent community available to you as well.

So as you work with your recruiting resources and recruiting partners, keep an open mind to the possibilities of candidates outside your “type” or what you think is your type. It might help you break the mold and find valuable talent you may be overlooking.


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