As a recruiter, you are obviously searching for the most qualified applicants to fill various job positions within your company. Although you are likely looking at prospects with all the expected credentials and skills, you don't want to overlook less obvious candidates that may have just the experience or credentials your company needs. Here are a few non-traditional categories of possible applicants to keep in mind.
It may seem as though homemakers who have been out of the workforce for several years might not have the skills needed for a particular position with the company. But it often pays to take a closer look at their credentials. For example, someone who was a professional writer or editor while raising children could be a great fit for a communications or PR position. A candidate who worked from home might have significant experience to offer.
At first thought it may seem better to avoid candidates who have been fired from previous jobs at other companies. But a better idea would be to learn more about the reasons they were fired. Did someone lose a job because his or her idea interfered with administration's profit by providing a better service to customers? Was there a personality conflict influencing the termination? Issues like these can be assets in an applicant's resume.
Some candidates who have never attended college have acquired valuable skills and insight from previous work experience. Even if they have no formal training, they may have great communication skills or a positive attitude, which many employers value over academic achievements.
Although someone with a college degree may already be high on your list of possibilities, don't forget about those who completed some coursework but perhaps have not yet earned a diploma. People who have successfully passed coursework that pertains to the open position may have valuable knowledge in that area. You may also want to consider redefining what you think of as “relevant” academic experience. There are countless college graduates whose skills may not be apparent on paper but who would make excellent employees. Consider liberal arts graduates, who have typically had excellent academic training in critical thinking and communication. A graduate of the UC online Master's in Education programs says her education has directly benefitted her professional life, providing her with the skills and training she would not have received elsewhere. Additionally, look for candidates with non-traditional academic experience. Some might have completed an internship or a special academic project that closely relates to your organization's line of business.
Someone who has retired from another professional may seem to be out of touch with today's world. But the opposite is often true. Someone who has been successful for many years in another occupation has demonstrated commitment and hard work.
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