Consider Hiring Non-Traditional Talent for Your Next Search

Historically, hiring employee talent has been heavily weighted towards candidates with a record of a perfect GPA, an elite alma matter, and a few brand name internships. Although these select indicators can be predictive of future employee success, they are certainly not mutually exclusive for all high performing talent. Given the current employee market, finding top talent is hyper-competitive. To increase the likelihood of successful placements efficiently, recruiters should refine their evaluative assessments for the specific search and also commit to simultaneously broadening the aperture for a larger and more diverse applicant pool.


In deliberately defining the best evaluative parameters for your search at hand, you reduce the likelihood of passing over top talent. Employers must carefully consider what specific qualities best track for success for the specific positions that they are trying to recruit. Going a step further, once these dimensions are defined, hiring managers must be rigorous in evaluating for these specific indicators, embedding evaluative assessments throughout the hiring process from resume screening through final rounds. For example, if you are hiring a global strategy manager, a position that demands an agile mind and strong interpersonal dynamics to manage relationships with high level stakeholders seated across the globe, then the ability to speak multiple languages fluently or demonstrate a high EQ could likely prove more valuable than high test scores.


It should be noted that a process including carefully crafting structured interviews assessing for predictive indicators of success, specific to the industry, employer, team, and search at hand, as a trend, has led to increased placements of non-traditional talent. It is an exciting time to be in recruitment; with the boom in EdTech platforms like Coursera, Guild, and 2U, access to higher education has exponentially increased. As a direct result, we are seeing an increase in exceptional candidates in the pipeline.



Lis Evans is a Project Manager at ECA. She can be reached at [email protected].



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