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How much consideration do you give non-tech experiences when hiring new staff?

It’s tough to get folks to understand that the skills that they already have are just as important as the skills that they need to bring to another job. I was helping somebody with their resume last year, and under work experience they listed deli counter clerk and bar back. So we retooled what he did, which was essentially being able to handle multiple requests at the same time, and being able to remember all these faces. He wanted to remove them from his resume, but it was the only experience he had. He’d just graduated college and had no specific experience in his field. That was one of the first times that I had to retool somebody's mindset to get them thinking outside the box. But it's a tough job to steer folks towards identifying those key skills. And I often just call people out. I’ll say, "Wait, did you just say X, Y, Z? Because that's what an enterprise program manager would say” or, “That's what a CISO would say." Being able to identify the talent is just as important as being able to manage how to staff up, how to source, and how to find the right fit for that job function, or that center of excellence (CoE).

Anonymous Author
It’s tough to get folks to understand that the skills that they already have are just as important as the skills that they need to bring to another job. I was helping somebody with their resume last year, and under work experience they listed deli counter clerk and bar back. So we retooled what he did, which was essentially being able to handle multiple requests at the same time, and being able to remember all these faces. He wanted to remove them from his resume, but it was the only experience he had. He’d just graduated college and had no specific experience in his field. That was one of the first times that I had to retool somebody's mindset to get them thinking outside the box. But it's a tough job to steer folks towards identifying those key skills. And I often just call people out. I’ll say, "Wait, did you just say X, Y, Z? Because that's what an enterprise program manager would say” or, “That's what a CISO would say." Being able to identify the talent is just as important as being able to manage how to staff up, how to source, and how to find the right fit for that job function, or that center of excellence (CoE).
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
When I was hiring tier-one IT people, they would always have a resume with only one experience listed, which was often a short internship. I'd ask them where else they’ve worked, and initially they’d say, "Nowhere." But in reality, they just don’t think their other experiences are relevant. For example, one person said, "I've been an assistant manager at KFC for four years, but that's clearly not relevant." But that is the best experience you could ever have if you want to be a tier-one help desk person. When you’re working the help desk, your job is Googling things for unhappy people all day. So I told them, "Your job is just interfacing with people and making them happy. If you were able to be an assistant manager at a fast food place, that’s relevant because you had to deal with nonsense all the time. In that position, you can't be rude to folks, you have to be nice to them and try to solve their problem.” People's eyes light up when they see those connections because the parallels are really there. In IT, and even in InfoSec, you're still a service organization.
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