Sorry We Can't Hire You - Wrong Industry

I have now been working in staffing and recruitment for a number of years and I am starting to see some interesting trends from both hiring managers and candidates.

One of the most common objections I have been coming across is ‘oh, that seems absolutely spot on, but it’s a shame about the industry’

Now I don’t deny that in certain jobs industry experience is absolutely essential, you would struggle I am sure, to be a pilot without some industry experience, or, a doctor for that matter. I also wouldn’t really fancy being an astronaut without some level of training...

However when it comes to data driven roles such as Planning Analytics, MI Reporting, Database Architecture, as well as many other roles, is it really that essential to understand the finer points of the industry?

When looking at forecast charts and demand plans, no matter the industry, the formula will be the same. Sure, the variables may change, the outputs may be different and the targets altered, however, the methodology will be the same, or very similar.

I wonder if we are at risk of denying top talent opportunities, or, restricting ourselves the chance to progress our career because we are scared about a change of  industry/taking a risk.

Too often I see recruiters and hiring managers running on auto-pilot and dictating that industry experience is required, or, candidates declining going forward because the industry is too far from what they do now.

Given the increasing demand vs shortages of good, talented individuals across Planning, Data and Analytics, adding additional criteria to a potential search does seem counter productive, given the opportunities and value the roles could create. I would like to see a change where we see the benefit of moving between industries, where top talent can come in all shapes, sizes and from many backgrounds, as long as a set of core, required skills exist.

If you disagree with me, and you may well have good cause to!  Consider this, I am yet to hear many people talk positively about automatic candidate screening systems that reject on basic information, yet we as human beings are just as quick to dismiss on one piece of information without considering the wider picture.

Could it be time for a change? I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts!

 James Vicary is a Recruitment Consultant at Douglas Jackson specialising in the recruitment of executive, managerial and analyst professionals across Customer Contact, James recruits across all technical, analytics and support roles including; Resource Planning, Scheduling, Forecasting, Workforce Management, WFM, Management Information, Business Intelligence, Big Data, Customer Insight, Telephony and CRM.

If you would like to talk with James regarding your career, or would like any support, advice or insight for your resourcing, or, technical teams; telephone: 01543 308671, or, 0345 620 9720, or, email

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