Atypical talent can be your golden ticket to a more productive workforce. And looking outside your normal recruitment box is how you find them.
Why Non-Traditional Talent Pays Off
Teams and workforces composed of diverse individuals and knowledge sets are proven to be better at innovation and problem solving than homogenous groups. To give just one example, a team of U.S. intelligence agents, who were all white Christian males, didn’t take Osama Bin Laden seriously “because he lived in a cave” — not realizing that this lifestyle was adopted on purpose because of its religious significance to his followers.
Employee morale — and productivity — is increased when they know that all groups and minorities have equal opportunities to join the organization, and to advance their careers once they’re on board. In addition, companies with a culture of diversity enjoy higher customer approval ratings, which both enhances the company brand and paves the way for more sales.
And finally, opening the way for atypical talent gives you a significant advantage in the current war for an extremely limited number of job applicants.
How Atypical Talent Stays Invisible
Unfortunately, job descriptions, ads and screening tools are often written without much thought as to whether certain criteria are necessary, accurate or discriminatory. (When was the last time you even updated yours?) Following are a few cases of valuable talent going unseen and untapped.
There’s been a trend over the last couple of decades to automatically require a four-year college degree for positions that never needed it before. This knee-jerk addition to the list eliminates two important talent pools:
- Older workers who entered their career before that requirement existed, and would bring you expertise and proven performance of the highest level.
- Younger Generation Z workers who have opted out of traditional degrees in greater numbers than at any time since WWII, mainly because of the ruinous costs of tuition and student loans. This group brings you energy, eagerness to learn and willingness to work hard.
Companies may see accessibility as a bar to employment of this large group. Yet, it usually only takes minimal cost and effort to rectify any physical barriers in the workplace.
People who are neurodiverse — such as those with dyslexia, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Tourette Syndrome — may not communicate in traditional ways, thus leading to their elimination by standardized assessments. Yet, they may prove uniquely suited to your role, as Microsoft discovered when hiring autistic candidates for its data analysis, engineering and code writing positions. Tests and interviews that stressed practical skills over personality traits enabled Microsoft to achieve truer evaluations.
While it’s true that some roles require specific skills and knowledge, many others — especially those that depend heavily on soft skills — don’t. Why not consider a restaurant server for your CSR position? In both cases, success is defined by communicating well with customers and coming up with solutions that satisfy all parties. And right now, thousands of hospitality workers are looking to change to a career where they won’t be so vulnerable when the next pandemic-like disaster hits.
These are just a few of the places you might look for underutilized talent pools. Integrity can help with an array of specialized technology that leaves no stone unturned. To learn more about our staffing solutions, visit our website, email us or call 1.888.446.1300.