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Three of the best risks you can take when hiring new talent

By Maureen Lynch Director of Hays Ireland

You have a vacancy to fill and a shortlist of applicants who are mid-way through the interview process. Among the applicants, there is one candidate who particularly stands out and your instinct is telling you to choose them, yet hiring them could be risky. Whether it’s a gap in their CV or their lack of experience in your industry, something is stopping you from making the offer.

It is inevitable that throughout the hiring process there are risks you will need to consider. It’s difficult to know if these risks will pay off. I would like to draw your attention to three risks I have regularly come across and why they have more often than not paid off.

1. They’ve done a number of contracting jobs.

When recruiting for a permanent role it is normal to automatically be concerned if the candidate has chosen to take a lot of temporary or contracted jobs as opposed to staying in one place for two or more years. You can find yourself wondering if this candidate can commit to one organisation for a long period of time or if they get bored easily?

Many candidates choose to upskill in as many areas as possible whilst adding a diverse range of experience to their CV. Most of the time the contracting work occurs at the beginning of their career where they were trying to get a feel for where their skills, ambitions and talents were best suited.

So why are these candidates worth the risk?

First and foremost they are strategic and considerate of their employer. They have chosen to meet their career motives through temp roles, as opposed to taking on lots of permanent ones, quitting after a short period and leaving their employers.

Next, their vast range of experience will not only provide you with diverse skills but also adaptability to new and unfamiliar environments, which in turn will help them get to grips with their new role quicker.

Lastly, they have spent plenty of time career-soul-searching through temp work and are now looking to you for a permanent commitment. This speaks volumes about how much you appeal to them as an employer.

2. They don’t have all the hard skills

For any role, there are a number of hard and soft skills needed. For certain roles, there may be hard, or more technical skills developed from training and experience, which you believe are absolutely necessary to succeed in the role.

In some cases, there may be a candidate who is lacking in a skill which comprises just one element of the role. However, throughout the interview process, they have demonstrated soft skills such as being a quick learner, curious and inquisitive so would potentially pick up the required hard skills in a matter of days.

3. They have zero industry experience

In some cases, you may find yourself sitting in front of a candidate who has many years’ experience in an industry that could not be further from yours. This can prompt you to wonder if they could adapt and immerse themselves in this new field.

There is no denying that it will take them slightly longer to get to grips with the industry jargon, trends and process. However, hiring an industry outsider can bring a new perspective to your business. This person isn’t bound by any of the industry’s unquestioned norms and routines, therefore, they will approach tasks with a completely open and fresh mind.

In summary, when interviewing, it is essential that you change your approach to the usual warning signs, such as the ones mentioned above. When keeping an open mind and finding out the reasons for these red flags, you may discover that these are actually just small factors which are outweighed by ambition and emotional intelligence which sets them apart from the competition and deems them a risk worth taking.

To find out more, or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant

About this author

Maureen joined Hays in 2000 where she specialised in Senior Accounting and Finance recruitment. With over 17 years’ experience, Maureen is the Director for Cork, Limerick and Galway along with over overseeing the Banking and Construction & Property operations in Cork. She also provides training expertise in the area of candidate screening and interviewing.

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