Is there room for industry outsiders in IT roles?
A well-understood rule in the IT industry is that to have a career in a specific field, you must know exactly what button to push, what line to code, or what changes to make to keep that position. But is there some wiggle room? Could bringing in someone from a different sector lend a fresh understanding to solving new problems? Although you may never find a florist performing rocket science at NASA, it’s not uncommon to find parallel fields cross-pollinating in IT.
A hiring manager can easily write a straightforward job spec of essential skills only a well-experienced candidate would possess. But do you get new ideas from people doing the same things year after year? Although some can keep it fresh, a relative outsider can ask questions an industry veteran may be too embarrassed to ask. Here are a few reasons to hire an outsider from Forbes contributor Liz Ryan.
“People fall into mental ruts… Someone who has performed an identical job in a different company is not going to question or reconsider processes, decisions, methods or strategies as easily as an outsider will. The best question an employee can ask is “Why do we do things this way?” because the question invites a conversation that desperately needs to happen…When we are forced by circumstance to learn a new industry, we apply what we’ve learned in other industries —they get to look at your problems from a new angle, and see new opportunities and solutions…When you hire someone who lacks industry experience, it challenges you as a manager. You get to see your new hire encountering your world, and that is an instructive thing to experience. You have to train your newcomer differently. You have to ask and answer questions you may not have considered for years — or ever.”
Batman can’t fill Superman’s role, but Wonder Woman could. Sometimes the candidate you are looking for maybe a “best fit” instead of a “perfect fit” – and exactly what you need.