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Take a Chance on Me!

We often come across candidates looking to make a career change – this can be moving into HR from a different career path, or moving from a recruitment role into an HR generalist role, or changing industry sectors. These changes can be hard to achieve, and both employers and candidates need to know how to position themselves in order to maximise their chances (and this is where a recruitment consultant proves their worth).

As a hiring manager at a large professional services business you might be asking yourself – do I really want to risk hiring someone purely on potential and gut feeling, rather than obvious industry or functional experience?

As a candidate you might be asking yourself – why is it that nobody wants to give me a chance? I have the skills to excel at this role and I am a fast learner, but I feel stuck.

Have we reached an impasse? Is it possible to make these changes? We think it is, within reason. It’s all about finding the right business and the right candidate, playing ‘Recruitment Cupid’, and being realistic about the situation.

Quite recently, we placed a brilliant HR Business Partner from the public sector into a large financial services business. Again, this wasn’t the most obvious choice for either the candidate or the employer, but we worked hard to demonstrate her core skills, and she gave an excellent account of herself….and ultimately they just clicked. There were conversations around salary expectations, attitude and experience, but it was manageable because both parties were open to the idea.

Often, hiring managers who themselves were given a chance to make a change in their career some time ago are more willing to think outside the box. In general however, it’s all about how you position yourself: be confident, talk to a trusted recruitment consultant about how to highlight your skills and don’t give up. It might take some time, but change is possible.

Within reason though…if you’ve spent 20 years as a football coach, it’s unlikely your next role will be an HR Director!

Have you ever found yourself in a similar position as a candidate? And conversely, as an employer, how do you decide whether to give a left-field option a chance?

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