Hiring someone with no industry experience can be scary. First, they have no way of measuring their success in your industry. Second, they need additional training to be successful in your industry. The additional training can be everything from learning additional jargon to knowing competitors and key networking connections to be successful.
But, this requires extra work and time on the part of the manager and a lot of willingness to be vulnerable on the employee’s end, to admit when they don’t know something.
Want to successfully hire a candidate with no industry experience? Here’s how!
Hire a Top Performer
Whether or not a candidate has industry experience, doesn’t change the fact that they might be a top performer. People that fall into this category are motivated by the sheer desire to succeed and can do so in ANY industry. Look for key performance indicators that they have hit and exceeded from their previous jobs and ask them how they got there. Their answers should be confident and also show signs of when they were okay being vulnerable to get the information they needed to succeed.
Provide Beginner Industry Training
Before you hire a candidate with no industry experience, consider paying attention to the jargon used in your office and industry. Sometimes acronyms that you understand will be lost on the new employee. Instead of calling out the new employee for not knowing this jargon, have a sheet available that they can reference to still contribute to the conversation.
Being vulnerable means that the person you hire will need to put themselves out there and ask questions when they don’t understand something. This can be scary, but being successful outweighs the momentary time of being unsure. Top performers ask questions because they know that the answers to these questions will take them to the next level and can shrug off a few glances in the room about their lack of knowledge.
New industry hires are going to view things from a completely different viewpoint. While at times their suggestions might seem silly, look for the insight behind the reason WHY they’re making the suggestion. Because they do not have the rigid constraints of someone that has been doing their job for years, they have a fresh viewpoint which may help you break away from the current competition.
The main point is to be prepared if you are hiring an outside-industry employee! Have your training ready to infiltrate them into your world and be prepared to listen to their ideas, while helping them succeed. This may challenge you as a manager, but a good manager has never minded a challenge.