I’ve spent a long time recruiting Reward specialists into roles ranging from junior/local to senior/global positions. While hugely diverse and multifaceted one consistent characteristic in the briefs has always been a requirement for “relevant industry experience”. In my experience candidates find this restriction highly frustrating, and clearly it substantially limits the talent pool available to the employer, but is there any sense to this approach?
If you accept that Reward is the practice of attraction, retention and motivation of individuals within the boundaries of employment law, then industry specific experience ought to have little relevance in determining suitability…but of course it’s more complex than that:
But are these candidates necessarily the best option? Surely they’re unlikely to come to the table with new ideas; haven’t most of them have been sat on round-tables sharing strategies and best practice with you for years already?
There must be benefit to bringing in different ways of thinking, some form of Darwinian policy development . As our retail banks are turning into technology businesses, as traditional retailers are becoming websites, and our dotcoms morph into complex logistics firms, it’s difficult to deny that some industry cross-pollination in the HR function is advisable and likely to have beneficial effects, not least the increased talent pool and associated speed and cost of recruitment.
So maybe it’s not such a gamble after all. In my view if a candidate is bright, ambitious and culturally a good fit, they can learn your industry’s idiosyncrasies and may well bring something unexpected, and highly valuable, to the table…evolution.
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