Developing a Learning Culture

High School Principals: Pros & Cons to Hiring Outside of Your Industry

It makes obvious sense to hire individuals from your own industry, especially in the world of eLearning. After all, bringing on a CLO who doesn’t understand the meaning of gamification might result in a few awkward moments. But just because an individual hasn’t worked in eLearning directly doesn’t mean organizations should overlook raw talent and creativity. Sure, there are a few drawbacks, but hiring from outside of your industry talent pool might mean a completely new outlook.

From Education to Corporate?

There are plenty of great examples of hiring outside of an industry for amazing results, but one of the most compelling stories is that of the school principal turned eLearning pro. It’s happening more and more: eLearning companies and organizations are hiring high school principals to oversee training strategy.

They might seem as different as chalk and cheese, but a high school principal and eLearning pro have more in common than you think: Both work with larges groups; both must adapt learning for the greater good. The difference? High school principals also know how to tailor learning strategy to the individual, something that might not be second nature for someone who’s been in the business for years.

Hiring Outside an Industry

Whether or not high school principals are a natural fit for eLearning is beside the point. Rather, it’s a lesson in thinking outside the boardroom and focusing on talent, vision, and skill set, instead of just industry experience alone. Someone hired from outside the regular talent pool brings some cool stuff to the table, including:

  • A fresh pair of eyes and new perspective
  • Quick adaption to organizational vision
  • Being able to mold talent to the organization, and not the other way around.

Just like hiring high school principals has been a way to remedy some of the conflicts and questions that plague the eLearning industry, picking a candidate that might have the talents without the experience could be a game changer.

There are a few caveats, naturally. First, you might find that hiring outside of your industry also means a longer training period than if you were to hunt for candidates among the usual suspects. It also means a more stringent hiring process to ensure that the right candidate with the right talents can hack it in an eLearning or training position. If you’re willing to do the work, however, it’s a decision that could pay off in spades later down the road.

When someone shares your ideals, approach, and methodology, what does it matter if the industry is a little off? You could find that nudging your candidate search into melting pot territory could net you a new perspective and the right match.