Dear hiring community, if you are having trouble finding employees, don’t overlook those seeking to change careers, especially individuals who already have a good work ethic and an excellent track record. Since most career changers don’t have the required degree, certification, or experience of their desired job, many hiring managers overlook them as potential candidates.

I must confess I was of the mindset that if you want to change careers, then do whatever it takes – take the salary cut, get the degree, start at the bottom. But as a Career Coach, I meet many exceptional people who want to change careers and have an impressive list of transferable skills, as well as the capacity to learn new skills. Some of these individuals already have a deep interest in their desired career and read, study, or dabble around their dream job as a hobby. If given a chance, these career changers will bring energy, passion, ambition, and new perspectives to organizations. As Whitney Johnson states, “Eager, capable, employees tackling new challenges are a key driver of innovation within an organization.”  Many career changers fit that description.

I know many in the hiring community see hiring career changers as risky and challenging to explain to those who advanced up the career ladder having the traditional qualifications. However, as noted above, career changers bring numerous benefits to an organization. With the low unemployment rate, along with the retirement of baby boomers, organizations may have to ditch the traditional qualification requirements and look for ways to leverage the benefits that career changers bring. By giving careful thought to what it takes to be successful in a position, and being intentional about giving credit for transferable skills, organizations can widen their potential candidate pool and reap the rewards career changers bring.