Hiring a Career Changer

When recruiting for an open position, most hiring managers first look for proof that the candidate can handle the work that the job requires. This is why we create a strict set of requirements in order to weed out the unqualified applicants.  Employers are ideally looking for a candidate who can get up to speed and start contributing quickly. However, in today’s tightening labor market you may want to dig deeper for a hidden gem. 

Consider the candidate who is not on a straight path and looking for a new direction, a.k.a. the “career changer.”  Employers tend to be concerned about these types of candidates. They could be wary of the lack of experience, their motives or long-term commitment level. However, people often change careers for many reasons. A candidate may want a new challenge, more responsibility, a career more in line with his/her interests, or a better work/life balance. Why are career changers potentially good for business? Here are several reasons why you should give them a second look.

They’re not afraid to take a risk.
Career changers aren’t afraid to think outside of the box. You have to be brave to take a leap of faith and change your career path, especially later in life, or after you’ve put in a significant amount of time in an industry. Career changers are often confident and aren’t afraid to start over or try something new. That is something quite valuable to any business.

They are excited about learning.
People who start over in new fields have to be open to learning, thinking creatively, and collaborating. Career changers will need to learn new skills and immerse themselves in the unfamiliar to get up to speed.  They must be motivated to learn more or they would stick to something more familiar.  Any business would be lucky to gain an employee who is passionate and excited to learn more.

Work team in meeting room working on laptop

They tend to be flexible.
By switching careers, a potential employee shows that they are flexible. Many new careers exist today that simply weren’t around a decade ago due to rapid advancements of technology. A career changer is flexible enough to adapt to something new and move forward.  Smaller organizations often require their employees be flexible and wear many hats and take on a wide variety of responsibilities.

They deliver a fresh perspective.
Career changers can bring a wide variety of skills from their previous positions into any organization. That translates to innovative thinking and a well-rounded approach to the many challenges of your specific industry. Career changers have a variety of experiences to draw upon to help solve your organization’s challenges. That can only benefit employers.

They bring valuable connections.
A career changer can bring his/her useful connections to your business. Someone who has extensive experience in a different industry likely can bring new connections to your business.  You can review the resume and LinkedIn page to see the type of community involvement and professional network that the candidate brings to the table.

They have proof of past successes.
Someone who has years of experience in an industry should be able to show you glowing reference letters, positive performance reviews, letters of thanks from customers or other items to prove how well he or she did at a former job. If you decide to hire a career changer, you don’t need to worry about working with someone who hasn’t proven himself or herself yet.

Before you write off a candidate who is seeking a career change, it can be worth it to schedule an interview to get a good understanding of the motivation, transferable skills, and outside experiences to determine if the person is a good fit for your organization. As a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), Oasis Outsourcing can help with your hiring strategy so you become the type of employer that attracts top performers. In addition to its PEO offerings, Oasis has a StaffSourcing division that offers recruiting, job placement and pre-employment behavioral testing.


Learn how Oasis can help your business with this or any other aspect of Human Resources by contacting Oasis Outsourcing at 866-AT-OASIS (866-286-2747) or visiting us online at www.oasisadvantage.com.

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