‘Diversity’ is the latest corporate mantra. And today, if you’re a candidate equipped with cross functional competencies and skeptical as to which job profile suits you the best don’t lose heart as organizations are hiring people who are willing to experiment by putting their varied range of skills to maximum use.
While most companies believe in following this trend in the near future, many organisations have already started hiring people with different backgrounds for their top management positions. Many organisations prefer bringing in people with different work experiences rather than choosing someone who has been doing the same thing for many years.
People coming from different backgrounds equipped with the right set of core competencies can be a right candidate for the required role, especially in today’s corporate environment, it’s necessary to hire such people for the value that they bring to the organisation.
A few years ago, knowledge about a particular sector or industry was considered to be invaluable and could not be done away with under any circumstances. However, with changing times a person with a wider range of contacts and knowledge is preferred over an industry expert. In today’s modern day work sphere, top managers need to be keen multi-taskers. Brand management, media positioning, networking, target achievement, people management etc. are all functions that a top manager would be expected to perform irrespective of the domain that they are in.
Choosing a head of the department or a sector with a different background usually works in the favour of the organisation. Bringing in a fresh perspective helps the organisation to get a different outlook, bring in greater creativity, flexibility etc. A top manager from a different domain would be more receptive towards his/her team. Ideation would flow within the team and the person’s journey up the learning curve would also make the employee feel empowered as he/she would have a say in the decision making process.
Getting a head from a different background can help smaller departments within the organisation grow and prosper. Many large companies which have high sustainability and stomach for experimentation would like to try out a fresh approach in a small unit or division of the conglomerate which it seeks to revive or turn around. The freshness in approach could come from a professional high on management skills rather than industry specific skills.
Hiring an individual with a different work background can help in an organisation’s growth, one needs to make this organisational practice a part of their recruitment policy. Also, whether a company decides to hire somebody with a diverse background is entirely an organisation’s decision, but industry pundits point out that this organisational move certainly has more pros than cons.
THE BELL CURVE
On the other hand, many feel that this may not work to the company’s advantage at all times as it’s not always easy to bring on a fresh candidate with no industry specific skills, especially at senior level positions. Though it is a gamble that many organisations are willing to make, but this experiment may also backfire. Some Companies feels that the degree of uncertainty is high and the system has to be prepared for it as this practice may drain out precious time and energy which could have been deployed elsewhere. A new person would be more prone to making mistakes and would run the risk of losing key team members because of his/her ignorance. Most people also have the view point that getting a new person from outside often leads to re-alignment of team dynamics and strategies and churn in team compositions as well.
Also the person needs to be handled patiently since he/she would take some time before settling into the new role. If we look in the pros or the cons of hiring somebody from a different background, this decision usually seems to be working towards the company’s advantage. So if you think that your expertise will go waste in some other department, don’t lose hope as many organisations would rather hire someone who is ready to take risks over someone who’s always willing to play safe.
Or HR Managers should make it a company policy so that the talent does not go waste or stagnates in just one industry.