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Recruiting and Hiring Non-Traditional Employees

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The disruption of the last few years has changed the way we work, and now the way we hire is changing too. Many employers and HR managers are being forced to adapt the way they recruit, train and retain new employees as skills shortages continue. And as the world recovers from the economic setback caused by the pandemic, many companies are looking for alternative ways to get back on track. One of the possible solutions is to hire non-traditional employees.

We'll look at the benefits of non-traditional employees and how to attract talent from this pool of more than suitable candidates. But first, let's discuss who exactly is considered a non-traditional employee and how they can be key to your post-pandemic recovery.

What is a non-traditional worker?

A non-traditional worker is someone that employers would normally either overlook or exclude from filling a position. While there is no exact definition of what makes a worker a non-traditional worker, some typical examples of non-traditional workers include:

  • Employees who lack the desired job requirements, such as a related degree, direct experience, or job-specific certifications.
  • Applicants with no work experience, gaps in employment history, or criminal records.

Why you shouldn't exclude non-traditional employees

When employers add a college degree to job descriptions that previously did not require a degree (and whose duties have not changed), they are excluding a large portion of the workforce simply because those people do not have a degree. Add to that the fact that an estimated 19 million Americans have committed criminal offenses - a huge workforce that employers simply aren't taking into account.

Non-traditional workers, also known as "hidden workers" and STARs or "alternative route skilled workers," may have the right skills or potential for the job but have no opportunity to demonstrate it. It's up to employers to recognize these skills and find people with the right potential by changing the way they recruit and hire.

Employers must find creative ways to expand the workforce by looking for workers who are not yet represented in the labor market.

Why you should look for STARs

In addition to the practical need for non-traditional employees to expand your workforce, there are also strategic advantages to hiring STARs.

  • Problem-solving skills: Many non-traditional employees acquired their skills on the job, online, or in places other than a four-year university. This alternative training is often accompanied by alternative perspectives for solving problems.
  • Diverse perspectives: Employees from non-traditional backgrounds offer a diversity of thinking and bring different ideas and perspectives, helping their teams make better, more informed decisions. A Deloitte study found that employees' ability to innovate increased by 83 percent when they felt their company was committed to diversity.
  • Soft Skills: A candidate with a gap in their resume or alternative education may still have numerous soft skills required for the job.

For example, people in the nursing, teaching or service sectors, such as waiters and bartenders, may not have a degree in the field for which you are seeking candidates, but they may have excellent communication, organization, teamwork and other skills in their previous job Leadership developed.

Hiring candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences opens your talent pool to people who can help your company be more resilient, creative and flexible. You want people who can approach a stubborn problem with a fresh perspective, stimulating and complementing teams in a way others can't. Consider different types of long-term unemployed and discouraged workers in these economies. This could include veterans, caregivers, ex-convicts, people recovering from substance abuse, immigrants and refugees.

Find and hire hidden talent

As companies shift their hiring practices from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more targeted, skills-based approach, they open a path to the untapped and often forgotten labor pool of the hidden workforce.

Below are some suggestions for expanding your efforts to find and hire non-traditional employees.

Clarify your employer brand

To attract new types of employees, your company may need to adopt new values. That doesn't mean a complete rewrite is necessary, but assessing and being open to updating your company's identity and clearly stating that non-traditional employees are welcome can help candidates feel more willing to apply .

Promote inclusivity

It's not always clear to a potential employee what your company culture looks like, especially if they come from a different industry. However, you can make clear and well-defined statements about your company's values that make people feel welcome - regardless of their background. This is another way being proactive about your employee experience pays off.

Create fewer barriers

Non-traditional employees are sometimes hidden simply because employers don't know where to find them. As already mentioned with people with criminal pasts and those without degrees, each type of hidden worker has a number of obstacles that prevent them from fitting an employer's profile as a "viable" candidate.

Think differently when searching for candidates

Recruiting and hiring non-traditional employees may force your human resources team and management to think differently when searching for candidates, but the effort can be worth it - especially in the difficult hiring market.

For many companies, a hiring strategy that includes non-traditional workers could serve as a recovery plan to offset job losses caused by the pandemic and widespread resignation. It also creates opportunities for some who desperately need them and can add new perspectives to your company's problem-solving capabilities.

IceHrm empowers businesses to embrace non-traditional talent, offering a robust platform to streamline diverse hiring, training, and retention strategies. As the workforce landscape evolves, IceHrm supports companies in unlocking hidden potential and fostering a resilient, innovative, and inclusive work environment.

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