Career Pivoters Hungry to recast their agility to fit your industry
The Case for Hiring Them
Advertising, media, health care, retail—what industry isn’t undergoing turmoil or transformation? As a result, people who have spent a decade or more working their way up in a field that is vastly changing are suddenly hungry to reinvent their careers elsewhere. Their transferrable talents might be less obvious, but think creatively and you might discover your next best competitive weapon.
Where to Find Them
“We tend to look for talent where we’re used to finding talent, but that search bias can block you from cross-industry finds,” says Marion Poetz, an innovation professor at Copenhagen Business School. To poach from other fields requires some extra legwork: Tap colleagues in adjacent industries who can recommend problem solvers they know; and keep an eye out for universally coveted traits, such as strategic chops and original thinking, rather than sector-specific experience.
How to Help Them Succeed
Treating outsider hires like experiments will almost guarantee failure. Instead, invest the time in educating them on your industry and provide very specific guardrails, says Kimberly Grotto, whose Chicago-based firm, Grotto Marketing, regularly plucks talent from other fields, including architecture, fashion, and product development. “The magic is in their drive and the way they go about solving problems,” she says.
Every career reinvention isn’t going to be a slam dunk, but the new platform Opus—currently being beta-tested by seed- to Series C-funded startups—is helping minimize those risks. The company coordinates six-month paid positions as a trial run. “We wanted to mirror the consulting world, where people bounce around between sectors and clients,” says co-founder Juliette Lim. Hiring for a project, rather than a full-time position, is also a good way to test-drive before you commit.