Let's just say it – while employee/employer power dynamics are constantly switching back and forth, in 2023 it can be difficult to hire for niche, specialized or hard-to-fill roles. In fact, at the end of December 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that there were 11 million roles open. Don't you wish that you could find a pocket of untapped talent? You can! Enter the pool that is increasing in depth every day: career-pivot candidates.
Gone is the time when people had to follow an exact education and position-based career track to earn a role, and we couldn't be more excited by that development. Why? It means that unconventional solutions are being considered and better long-term matches are being found.
However, if this is your first time trying to hire from a pool of people looking to make a career change, you might need some assistance getting started. Here are some actionable steps to help get you on the full pipeline track.
7 Tips to Leverage Career-Pivoters
1. Talk to the hiring manager
You'd be surprised how many roles include trainable skills. Sit down with the position's hiring manager and go through the requirements one by one, denoting which are "nice to haves" and which are "must haves" for the role. If many are areas where a candidate can train with another team member, your pool of potential hires will increase immediately.
If you find that the role is a flexible one, consider taking that information and rewriting the job description to appeal to those who are working toward pivoting careers.
2. Dive into their resume
If you've already obtained a group of resumes and have bucketed some into an area that seems misaligned, take a deeper look at the skills section. Look specifically for transferable skills and both conventional and alternative education that could be leveraged.
For example, if a candidate doesn't have practical experience, but has certifications showing interest in a role like the one you're recruiting for, they may be worth presenting to the hiring manager.
3. Consider recommendations about character and drive
Recommendations are important. While it can be tempting to reduce a candidate to their resume, glowing recommendations that speak to a candidate's dedication and drive may signal that the potential hire could excel in a role differing from the ones they've previously held.
4. Look for consistent effort toward change
While many job seekers will openly talk about their desire to pivot careers, fewer will provide demonstrable proof of interest. Proof can come in many forms including:
- Certifications that fall outside of their existing industry
- Conference attendance for a different industry
- Independent projects (like launching their own website or writing a personal blog series)
- Aligned freelance work
5. Understand their long-term goals and provide short-term steps
Remember, whenever you interview for a position, the candidate is mentally interviewing you as well. If you want to earn the hire, make sure to talk with them about their goals and showcase established career paths at your company so that they consider you fully.
Without the potential for advancement or promotion, you will likely end up looking less appealing.
6. Create a plan for their career
Once you deduce that a person is a candidate for a pivot, sit down and offer them advice on changing careers that is tailored to existing opportunities and paths within your company.
Be candid about skill gaps and develop a plan to fill them, consider offering them the opportunity to shadow a senior employee once hired, and promote professional development opportunities as a perk. These sorts of options will make the candidate feel valued and you'll get an engaged employee in return.
7. Make an internal training program
There are two audiences that can benefit from an internal training program – existing talent and new hires.
Frequently there are already highly-driven employees with excellent track records at your company who would consider switching roles to something different. Allowing for departmental switches via an internal training program lets employers like you hire for less difficult-to-fill roles while making current team members feel seen.
On the other hand, you can also promote an internal training program to new talent that wants to enter a specific area. This type of training program can be a real differentiator in the recruitment market.
As a point of reference, one large company that has implemented a supportive training program is Goldman Sachs. They offer it by application and eligibility is simple – "The Career Pivot Series focuses on professionals with at least one year of work experience looking to make a career transition to another company or industry."
Increasing your talent pipeline doesn't have to be an insurmountable task. You can do it by helping talented individuals make a successful career transition.
Crunched for time and resources? Beacon Hill can help isolate those types of candidates and present you with a sizable group for your consideration.
Ready to get started? Partner with us today!