The exceptional value of nontraditional candidates in making great hiring choices
Who doesn’t know Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla? Did you know he’s someone who learned engineering and business on his own and not at any fancy university? Yes! A perfect example of a non-traditional candidate, Musk has made a significant contribution to the aerospace and automotive industries.
Recruiters are increasingly open to non-traditional candidates, valuing unique life experiences, diverse education, and unconventional career paths. These individuals can offer fresh perspectives, driving innovation and creativity. For instance, a self-taught coding expert without a formal IT degree is a prime example, often known as “STARS” or “HIDDEN WORKERS.”
Want to know the best way to welcome candidates from nontraditional backgrounds?
To attract a more diverse talent pool, consider reevaluating your job description, providing implicit bias training for HR, implementing blind resume reviewing, and establishing development programs like mentorship and sponsorship initiatives. Also, employee resource groups (ERGs) can help maintain connections with a diverse workforce while focusing on enhancing skills and career growth, which is crucial for employee development.
Here are some differences you might notice when implementing nontraditional hiring practices:
Recruiting candidates from diverse backgrounds can open the door to fresh perspectives, ultimately creating a more dynamic, competitive, and vigilant work environment. Embracing untapped talent with the requisite skills, rather than focusing solely on candidates with degrees, can strengthen your connections with a diverse customer base, leading to increased profitability.
The focus should not solely be on identifying candidates who check all the checkboxes on a list of criteria. It’s not about seeking candidates with conventional technical degrees. Instead, it’s about embracing the idea of taking a calculated risk by discovering individuals who possess exceptional job-relevant skills, combined with a deep passion, diligence, creativity, and a keen aptitude for learning and exploration. This approach will aid in cultivating a workforce that is more inclusive and diverse.