The value of looking outside the sector

Published: 20 September 2016

Skills in the technical space tend to be highly sought after, yet in fairly short supply.  It is refreshing when a business tells us they are willing to look outside of their sector. Every business is different, even within the same sector, so finding a candidate to fit your exact needs in terms of skills, product, challenges, sector and cultural fit can be limiting. If a business is open to looking outside of their particular sector, we can focus on recruiting the best person for the job overall, rather than just the best person in their specific industry.

There are many benefits to being open on sector experience, including:

  • Broader talent pool – top talent comes from a variety of backgrounds and industries. By making a brief too narrow you could be missing out on exciting candidates.
  • Fresh perspective – candidates from different sectors could bring a different point of view, a fresh approach and new ideas to your business.
  • Diversity – a workforce that varies in background, education and experience come together to create a more rounded and diverse team.

A cross-sector approach can work particularly well when a client is looking for strong leaderships skills within a technical role. For example, a current search for a Development and Delivery Manager with a specialist software solutions company has seen us looking to a number of industries for talent. At this level the balance is less focused on specific, hands-on technical skills and more about leading technical people and teams.

Success is about finding a candidate with the right skills, behaviours and mind-set, not just sector specific experience. Forward thinking companies that are willing to look outside the traditional search area will benefit from a fresh perspective and broader skill set contributing to their business.

Rebekah Honour is a Specialist Researcher in the IT Leadership practice

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