Why you should consider hiring a candidate outside of your industry

Change in careers is inevitable. SEEK research shows that 51 per cent of Australians are considering a career change in the future. We explore the top five industries where candidates are keen for a change and the industries they are most interested in moving to.

There can be real value for hirers and recruiters who look beyond their industry talent pools to find candidates who are a great fit for their organisation. 

Recent research from SEEK has identified the five top industries where candidates would be wiling to move.

Top five industries where candidates would be willing to move

  1. Call centre and customer service – 93% indicated interest in another industry
  2. Sales and business development – 90% indicated interest in another industry
  3. Insurance and superannuation – 89% indicated interest in another industry
  4. Real estate and property – 87% indicated interest in another industry
  5. Marketing and communication – 87% indicated interest in another industry

As a professional working within real estate and property, Brooke Shaw, the senior manager of people and culture at Dexus, is not surprised that 87 per cent of candidates in real estate and property are interested in moving to another industry.

“Many of our new hires are from the banking and financial services industry so it’s no surprise that there is movement across industries,” she says.

“New hires from outside an industry can offer fresh eyes to long-standing strategic or operational challenges facing the business. The figure of 87 per cent may appear high, though is quite typical within the functions reported.”

Who wants to move?

Candidates with mid-level roles, such as middle management, had the largest proportion of people indicating that it’s time for change in their career (21 per cent). Those in senior roles (such as CEO or senior management) followed at 18 per cent, and 15 per cent of those in junior or graduate roles indicated their interest in changing industries.

Some workers, of course, were not particularly interested in moving to another industry.

The five industries with the smallest proportion of workers interested in working in another industry

  1. Accounting – 63% indicated interest in another industry
  2. Healthcare and medical – 63% indicated interest in another industry
  3. Education and training – 63% indicated interest in another industry
  4. Information and communication technology – 64% indicated interest in another industry
  5. Farming, animals and conservation – 64% indicated interest in another industry

The core skills hirers should be looking for

Shaw says switching industries can be a challenging experience for new hires, as at times they may need to justify their value to their team in the face of scepticism.

“Resilience and adaptability would be key attributes to look for,” she says.

“Ensuring a candidate has a preference for team work, collaboration and a learning mindset will ensure they have the ability to adapt and succeed.”

For recruiters looking to attract candidates who traditionally fall outside of their industry, it’s important to look at the criteria in the job advertisement.

“Is this inadvertently narrowing your pool of potential candidates?” asks Shaw.

“Remove experiences or skills sets that unnecessarily exclude talent from outside your industry. Also, in briefing the hiring manager within the business, make sure to ask whether they would consider a candidate from outside the industry.”