Are you missing out on talent?
I am fascinated by the job adverts I see requiring previous experience in a similar position and / or industry. It seems completely hypocritical to me to want people with ambition, who are willing to learn and grow, but then we want them to apply for a new job (and stay in it for substantial enough time to make business sense) which is exactly the same as the job they are currently doing, and so are missing out.
Organisations are claiming that they want creative problem solvers and encourage diversity, yet their job adverts indicate that they are not open minded enough to believe that someone with experience in a different industry would be able to contribute anything to their environment.
College and university graduates often find themselves desperate for any type of employment remotely related to their field of study so that they can start paying back their mountain of study debt. Because of this desperation they may end up in an industry that was not their first choice, nor where their strengths lie and now they are stuck in that industry as all opportunities for advancement now require prior experience in that industry.
What fascinates me even more so is the many cases that you will find where the same two marketers from two completely different industries started out doing exactly the same qualification at exactly the same institute of tertiary education. Based on what do organisations then argue that the one will be able to add value to their organisation and the other wont?
I do understand that there are (sometimes) significant differences between various industries, but can the same argument not be made for significant differences between two businesses within the same industry? Sometimes this is even true for within the same business operating very differently in different geographical locations. Sometimes head office operates very differently from operations. Which leads me to question how valuable these requirements for previous experience in job adverts are?
In your organisation, with all of your prior industry experience, you are likely to still find yourself struggling with challenges typical of your industry or challenges you have for a long time been unable to resolve, despite all of the industry experience within your organisation. Maybe it is time to let someone else in, someone with a fresh and unique perspective and experience of an industry where (maybe for very good reason) they do not have your specific challenges. Maybe this could end up being the decision that finally gets your business into a completely different league and far ahead of the competition. After all, if you want different results, you may need to start doing things differently from how you’ve always done.