Recruiting Non-Traditional Employees

        The recent upheaval has changed the way we operate, and it’s now impacting the way we hire. While the skilled-labor scarcity persists, many firms and HR managers are being compelled to change how they recruit, train, and retain new employees. As the world recovers from the pandemic’s economic shock, many businesses are looking for new ways to get back on track. Hiring non-traditional personnel is one of the viable alternatives. We’ll discuss the benefits of non-traditional employees as well as how to recruit talent from this pool of more-than-qualified people. But first, let’s define a non-traditional employee and how they may help you succeed.


A non-traditional employee is someone that employers would normally overlook or dismiss while filling a position. While there is no specific definition of what constitutes a non-traditional employee, the following are some instances of non-traditional employees:


Workers who do not have the necessary qualifications, such as a related degree, direct experience, or job-specific certificates.


Candidates with no work experience, gaps in their work history, or criminal backgrounds are not eligible.


It’s also important to make a distinction between non-traditional employees and what constitutes a non-traditional occupation. The U.S. Department of Labor defines non-traditional occupations as occupations in which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25 percent of the individuals employed in that occupation. For example, women in welding, criminal justice, or engineering, and males in nursing or early childhood education. 


Employers effectively lockout a substantial sector of the work market by adding degree requirements to job titles that didn’t previously require degrees (and haven’t altered in duties). When you consider that an estimated 19 million Americans have criminal records, you have a potentially massive labor force that businesses are just overlooking.

Employers must think of innovative ways to expand their workforce by hunting for workers who aren’t currently employed. Finding hidden workers and STARs is critical to growing your workforce and recovering from COVID-19-related losses.


But beyond the practical need for non-traditional employees in expanding your workforce, there are strategic advantages to hiring them.


Many non-traditional employees picked up problem-solving abilities on the job, online, or somewhere other than a four-year institution. Alternative education frequently brings with it new approaches to problem-solving.

Employees with non-traditional backgrounds bring a diversity of thought to the table, bringing diverse ideas and perspectives to the table, allowing their teams to make better and more informed decisions. Employees’ ability to innovate increased by 83 percent when they believed their company was devoted to diversity, according to a Deloitte study.


Hiring people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences expands your talent pool, allowing you to hire people who can help your organization become more resilient, innovative, and agile. You want people who can approach a difficult topic from a new angle.


who can assist your business in becoming more resilient, creative, and agile You want people who can bring a new viewpoint to a difficult challenge and excite and complement teams in ways that others can’t. In these economies, there are various sorts of long-term jobless and discouraged workers.



Veterans, carers, formerly jailed people, those who have recovered from substance misuse, immigrants, and refugees are all possible candidates.


When firms go from a one-size-fits-all hiring method to a more focused, skills-based one, they get access to the untapped and often-forgotten labor pool of hidden workers.


Here are some ideas for expanding your search for and hiring non-traditional staff.

Your organization may need to adopt new ideas to attract new types of personnel. This doesn’t mean a total redesign is required; nevertheless, reviewing and being open to upgrading your company’s identity, as well as making it obvious that non-traditional staff is welcome, may encourage applicants to apply.

Although it is not always obvious to a new employee what your company culture will be like, especially if they are coming from another field, you may make clear and well-defined statements about your firm’s principles that will make employees feel welcome—regardless of their background. It’s just another example of how planning ahead for your employee experience pays off.

Employers sometimes hide non-traditional employees since they don’t know where to look for them. Each type of hidden worker has several challenges that prohibit them from matching an employer’s profile of a “viable” applicant, as we discussed with people with criminal histories and people without degrees.

Recruiting and hiring non-traditional personnel may require your HR team and management to think about candidate sourcing in new ways, but the benefits can be well worth the effort—especially in the current tight labor market.

For many businesses, a non-traditional hiring strategy might double as a recovery strategy to compensate for job losses caused by the pandemic and the Great Resignation. It also provides possibilities for those who are in severe need, and it can broaden your organization’s problem-solving capabilities by bringing in new ideas.

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