When hiring, it pays to think outside the box

David Khadi, Director at Michael Page. explains why it pays to broaden your thinking when adding to your team.

As an employer or hiring manager, you know exactly what you’re looking for in a new hire. Or do you? It’s the job of the specialist recruitment agency to find someone who will succeed in a role and add value to your organisation – and sometimes that person may be a little different to who you initially had in mind.


Consider alternatives

While it is our ambition to find the ‘perfect’ candidate according to a job brief, it is also our job to take that brief and offer alternatives that might bring additional benefits to your business. We often find that candidates, who also have a little breathing space when it comes to learning and development, may prove to be better long-term fits than those who tick 10 out of 10 boxes straight away. Reason being, a 10 out of 10 candidate has no room to grow and may get bored in the role fairly quickly. However, when we find the right balance of skill set and room for growth, it offers exceptional opportunities for both the candidate and your organisation.

That’s not to say that as employers you should hire somebody who doesn’t stack up to the job brief. I would never pitch a candidate who is completely left of field. When I say it pays to think outside the box, I am usually talking about a candidate who has the required skills and experience, but comes from a different (yet still related) industry background. Being open-minded to looking outside of your industry means you can be presented with a more diverse, but equally as qualified short list.



Determine the non-negotiables

When it comes to considering candidates outside of the expected, determine the non-negotiables first. The goal is to find candidates who will perform well in the role; if the job brief includes people management skills, any candidate put forward should have people management skills. If a certain technical skill set is required, expect to only be pitched professionals with proven experience.



Get great experience for your company

Time and time again, we have seen that placing a professional from a related field is a great experience for a company. A telco that hires somebody with a background in media, for example, will benefit from fresh ideas and different ways of thinking. The required industry knowledge needed to succeed in a role is often already held in the company itself, can be learned on the job and form an important part of what keeps a candidate motivated to stay and grow in the role. A few months on from these kinds of placements, we usually see companies doing things they’ve never done, with great outcomes.

While SEEK partners with trusted contributors to bring you the latest insight and advice, the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.


  • About the author

About the author

David Khadi

Michael Page


Starting his career in 2004, David Khadi has spent the past 11 years working in the recruitment industry with Michael Page Group. David is a specialist in the senior and executive level recruitment of professionals within the marketing, sales,...

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