In a recent poll, we asked our LinkedIn followers, “Is your current role related to what you went to school for?” Of the 152 respondents, the results are as follows:

  • 59% – No, had a change of direction
  • 37% – Yes, and I still love it
  • 4% – Yes, but considering a change

Well, over half of the respondents are currently in a role unrelated to their education. In fact, 50% of our team at Walrath Recruiting is currently in a role unrelated to their educational background. What this tells us is that these 89 people (or 59%) were given an opportunity that allowed them to grow outside of their original plan. Whether that was an employer giving them a chance in a new role in which they may have had no experience or an employer taking an interest in them and providing an opportunity to cross-train.

Many employers are looking for a candidate with a (very) specific skillset for which they may offer no other consideration. Of course, there will be some roles that require similar experience or a specific educational background. However, there are other positions (maybe lower-level roles) where an employer should seek an individual with desired characteristics (i.e., motivation, drive, commitment). You can teach anybody how to scan a document or check the mail – no experience is required. It’s the effort that you put into that employee that makes the difference.


Let’s talk cross-training.

The main objectives of cross-training are:

Increase an employee’s skillset

Increase flexibility within the organization

Help your employees to better understand how the business operates on multiple levels 


When you invest in them – they are more likely to offer their loyalty in return. The idea of cross-training Is to empower employees to provide support from within the company instead of outsourcing or overloading one group of employees during hectic times. Aside from Increased employee motivation, some major benefits of cross-training are greater productivity and return on investment, increased employee engagement, and an agile and future-ready company.

We often find candidates who are happy in their current role but are actively seeking alternate employment due to a lack of growth. The goal when accepting a role is to satisfy the immediate needs, and then grow beyond them. Nobody wants to feel stagnant. Even your happiest employee will seek alternate opportunities if they begin to feel bored.

Providing opportunities for cross-training can be further discussed during quarterly reviews when an employee feels stagnant and is seeking more from their employer. It does not have to be an advancement within their department. Cross-training can and should be interchangeable. The idea is to train employees in specific tasks. Start small and grow large.

Chances need to be taken to see gain – and If you aren’t willing to take a chance with your employee – somebody else will. If you have an employee who is eager to learn and wants to grow – help them! We can agree those employees are few and far between and if you miss the opportunity now, who knows when it will come back around?


For further assistance in your job search or your search for qualified candidates, please contact Walrath Recruiting at (518) 275-4816.