Thinking outside the box when recruiting employees 2

The job market has undergone significant changes since the dawn of the digital age. Young people entering industries twenty or thirty years ago were likely to stick with the same line of work, often even the same company, until retirement. Modern workers, on the other hand, skip between professions throughout their careers.

As a new generation worker moves through various industries and specialities, they acquire skill combinations as unique as their resume. This does not mean acquiring traditional training, like a degree in engineering or architecture, has become obsolete. Any qualification is still a firm platform from which to launch a career.

Career hopping does however mean companies looking to appoint new employees can adjust their hiring tactics to find individuals with very particular skill sets.

The new-age employee

With individuals having more and more non-traditional skill sets, how can companies ensure they employ the right people? After all, finding the employee with the ideal set of skills is a far more lucrative goal than employing multiple workers to only tap a fraction of their individual potential.

The answer lies with looking for the individual best suited to the position rather than focusing on a generic qualification. An engineering degree, for example, is still a valuable asset in the workplace. However, an engineer with experience in computer software development as well as production lines can have a very particular approach to mass production.

Also bear in mind the salary level a qualified engineer can demand. Does their expertise warrant the resulting expense? If the position requires a multitude of technical skills and problem solving abilities, this is certainly the case. If a technical mind-set is the most important factor, a person with different qualifications but the right experience might be better suited.

Cladding suppliers, for instance, need to bring design flair into large scale industrial structures that have to integrate with architecture. For this type of business to survive, employees must have a wider understanding of each discipline.

Finding the ideal employee fit

Employing someone who has a wide range of non-related abilities, but lacking in fundamental aptitude to get the job done will inevitably fall short. When it comes to finding the ideal person to fill a specific position, focus on advertising the specific skills the job requires rather than the qualifications an applicant should have.

When considering a potential employee with a wider range of past experience, read between the lines. Often an applicant’s CV tells a story of the type of work they are inherently good at and their ability to learn and adapt.

The secret is to match the ideal individual and their unique set of skills to a job where they will be thoroughly utilised. 


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2 thoughts on “Thinking outside the box when recruiting employees

  • Sylvia F. Hammond

    Hi Miro – so good to see you back – I’ve missed your insightful comments. I’m sure that you’re right about the lack of choice – so many people just doing whatever they can just to survive.  And the influence of class and lack of access to a quality education.

    At an Harambee conference they explained how they tested for learning potential and found so many young people who would have been rejected if tested for literacy and numeracy. 

    Imagine how much human resource potential we squander in this country every day.  

  • Miro Bagrov

    I agree with your article. The challenge is that in 90% workers do not work where they want to or even land the jobs they imagined. The CV very often tells us where people ended up rather than what they could do, or wanted to do. Possibly a problem that emerges in high unemployment countries where choice is over-ruled by needs?