Why You Should Invest in Talent That Didn’t Take the Traditional Path


Long gone are the days a prestigious degree is required for a management role. Most job tasks can be learned through training and sometimes the best employees aren’t those who already have the desired experience, but those who are willing to adapt and pick up the skill set.

With evolving technology, it is safe to say that the requirements for certain positions may not even exist in the next few years. Candidates that are teachable and adaptable are in high demand because they don’t resort to narrow thinking and “the way it has always been” when it comes to learning a new application or process. To keep up with the competition and evolve, your workforce needs to reflect flexibility and that may entail a talent pool that didn’t take the traditional route to get to the role they are applying for.

Take for example you’re hiring for an executive assistant position and you receive a resume with years of military experience in an unrelated career field. You call the applicant on a whim and it turns out that they have a lot of relevant experience in the position you’re hiring for, but it was on a freelance basis and they did it outside of their full-time position. In addition, they can convey how the experience and skills gained in the military such as working under pressure and attention to detail are relevant to the executive assistant position. This already shows you that this applicant is driven and determined to learn. They may take an unconventional route to pursue their passions but just because they don’t have the specified experience of the role it doesn’t make them unqualified. People make career changes all the time and sometimes they will stay in an unrelated career field because it pays well or until they feel they have enough freelance experience and are comfortable enough to take the plunge into a new professional arena full-time.

By hiring a candidate with a nontraditional path, you are opening your team up to different perspectives when it comes to thought processes. Your nontraditional candidate will have valuable experience that will allow them to approach complex issues in a different manner than the traditional employee. Most traditional employees may agree and come to conclusions quicker because they will typically approach a problem with the same mindset. This can cause them to potentially miss situations where a potential issue can occur. An employee with an nontraditional path will have a new perspective and may think of a more efficient method to solve a problem or may even think of potential roadblocks to the consensus your traditional employees proposed.

Having a diverse organization can result in higher profits. You’re able to achieve better innovation and performance due to the different perspectives and approaches to the workload. You may miss the opportunity for unreached potential by staying true to the traditional hiring process. To build a diverse organization that can thrive you have to take an nontraditional approach to hiring. Keep in mind that there is no single preferred or recommended route to a role. The drive to get there and perform should be the most important factor that you take into consideration when interviewing a potential candidate.

When you receive your next pool of applicants, try to focus on the potential that individual can achieve and not the degrees or fancy job titles that they’ve obtained. Unless of course you’re hiring for a role that requires specific experience and expertise, like a medical doctor or lawyer, you have room to offer some flexibility in your requirements. This is especially true in creative fields. You may have an applicant who is very passionate about writing but they’re previous job experience has been in IT. At first glance, their resume will deem them as unqualified but if they’ve provided examples in their cover letter or showed opportunities where they pursued their passion in their resume, you may find that they could exceed your expectations in that role.

A lot of CEO’s and innovative speakers don’t even have degrees, but they employ people who do. The applicant that you turn away because they don’t meet the desired qualifications to a “T” could be your next top performer!

Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.


This article was written by Launa.

Launa is a writer/actress currently living in the DC area. She loves performing, traveling, trying new restaurants and mommy-daughter time with her baby girl. If you need talent or content for your project, you can reach Launa at contactlauna@gmail.com.

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