The phrase ‘think outside the box’ essentially means to approach things from a different perspective. In the marketing sector, encouraging professionals to think outside the box is important, however, originality and great ideas cannot be forced. This is similar to recruitment, it is important to broaden your scope in order to access the broadest talent pool. 

So, in terms of the recruitment of marketing professionals, why is it important to think outside the box?

The benefits of thinking outside the box

Generally speaking, a hiring manager is looking for a specific industry background or a level of knowledge that only candidates from the relevant sector would possess. This approach can have its merits; there are many circumstances where prioritising specific sector knowledge makes perfect sense for an employer. However, considering candidates with the relevant transferable skills will enable you to operate within a broader pool of talent.

Some of the best candidates that you could come across possess excellent transferable skills, and could walk into most roles irrespective of industry and perform well. Unfortunately, these individuals are too often overlooked because their experience doesn’t tick specific boxes when it comes to industry background.

The positives of thinking outside the box and focusing on a candidate’s skill set over background are as follows:

  • A larger pool of candidates – This is particularly relevant if you are recruiting a niche role. While a candidate may not have the right industry background, they may well have the skills to take on the role. 
  • Quicker recruitment processes – We’ve seen employers spend months recruiting a single role. Some roles can take time to fill, resulting in a loss of time and opportunity. Therefore, it may have been easier to widen the brief at the start of the process.
  • A varied workforce – The most successful businesses are those that innovate. Bringing in a diverse range of people from different professional backgrounds will bring new ideas and creative solutions into your business. Most often those highly innovative businesses are the ones who focused on skill set rather than background when building teams.
  • Personality fit – This is becoming increasingly important for all of our clients. Ever met the perfect candidate on paper but been disappointed in person? This happens the other way round as well. It is eminently worth meeting people who may not tick every box on paper; they may surprise you in person.
  • Improved employer brand – Brand perception is important. Building a reputation for hiring similar professionals can damage your employer brand. It’s well known that employees thrive within a diverse workforce where productivity increases.

Do you think outside the box?

Employers who are open-minded about a candidate’s experience have reaped huge rewards. As the talent pool in the UK is rich and diverse, it is important for hiring managers to ask that all-important question, do I think outside the box? If you come across a candidate with differing experience, offering them a telephone interview to discuss their skills may highlight their suitability for the role. 

If you are interested in recruiting for top talent to your marketing organisation, why not get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants for a confidential discussion. Alternatively, if you are looking for a new opportunity, create a MyPage account today.

Ben Cook
Senior Consultant, Not for Profit & Public Sector