By: Alicia Anzalone on February 26th, 2024

Print/Save as PDF

Cross-Industry Hiring: How IT Professionals Move from Gaming to Construction

Talent Acquisition | Retained Search | Recruitment outsourcing

Effective recruitment sometimes requires people to think outside the box. Finding the right hire can mean looking beyond your ideal candidate profile—or even outside of your industry.

We’re seeing a lot of this right now in the field of IT recruitment. Tech companies reduced their workforces by 250,000 people in 2023, which means that there is now a huge talent pool looking for new opportunities.

And there’s also a huge demand for tech talent, especially in industries that sometimes struggle to attract IT professionals. However, when a recruiter or hiring consultant can connect these employers with the right candidates, it’s often a match made in heaven.

Download My Hiring Process Checklist

From gaming to construction: a case study

Gaming companies are popular employers for ambitious IT professionals. These companies work with the latest technology and offer many career development opportunities, making them an ideal environment for software developers who want to grow their skill sets. Unfortunately, gaming has been hit by the recent wave of layoffs. Gaming companies parted ways with over 10,000 workers in 2023, impacting around 35% of all gaming companies.

However, some of that talent has now found a home in different industries, such as construction. While construction might seem very different, the two sectors actually have a lot in common, including reliance on cutting-edge tech and 3D modeling.

Some of the construction sector jobs that might appeal to a gaming professional include:

1. BIM (Building Information Modeling) Specialist

By leveraging AR/VR to render 3D models and simulations, BIM Specialists can save contractors millions of dollars annually in rework.  The BIM’s 3D modeling allows for early detection of potential design and construction issues, circumventing the need to redo the work. 

Related roles in the gaming industry: 3D Modeler, Game Engine Developer, Technical Artist

2. Construction Technology Manager

Leads the identification, integration, and application of various technologies that impact project design, construction modeling, and training (think Metaverse meets Bob the Builder). 

Related roles in the gaming industry: Game Developer, Software Engineer, Technical Director

3. AR/VR Application Developer

With the increasing use of AR/VR in construction for project visualization, training, and improving on-site efficiency, there's a growing demand for professionals who can develop and implement these solutions. Individuals with experience in AR/VR development in the gaming industry can transition to developing applications that aid in design visualization, safety training, and on-site construction management.

Related roles in the gaming industry: Developer, Software Engineer, VR/AR Developer, or Interactive Media Designer.

These are just one example of how to think outside the box for cross-industry hiring. To really capture the talent, you’ll need an effective recruitment strategy.

How to create a cross-industry recruitment strategy

Cross-industry hiring can pose some challenges, especially during the recruitment process. Communication is the biggest issue, as both candidates and hiring managers might not speak the same language.

Here are some tips to help build a recruitment process that can hire from diverse sources:

1. Map job titles between industries

Your existing job titles and descriptions might not translate into other industries—for example, a Construction Technology Manager might be called a Technical Director in the software industry. Look at job ads in different sectors and see what competencies and work experience are required for each position. This will help you “translate” job titles between industries.

Also, make sure to review your job description wordings and remove anything that’s industry-specific unless it’s a must-have requirement. Watch out for any jargon terms that might confuse people who don’t know your industry.

2. Understand candidate expectations

Candidates are sometimes slow to change industries

Expectations are especially important when it comes to total rewards. IT professionals might come to your industry with different ideas about salaries, benefits, and equity-sharing schemes. Make sure they understand what you’re offering—and what you’re not.  

3. Speak their language

Each industry has its own jargon, and this can often create confusion. It’s important to use the same language as your audience, especially when you’re talking about the necessary skills and experience for each role.

It’s also a good idea to match their tone of voice. Each industry has a different voice—for example, gaming companies tend to be quite casual, while industries like finance or government-sector employers tend to be a bit more formal.

4. Educate your hiring managers

Hiring managers might need some additional coaching and support for cross-industry recruitment. You’ll need to educate them about understanding typical candidates, interpreting resumes, and framing interview questions.

Ensure that all stakeholders receive the same kind of support. Every decision-maker should know how to identify an ideal hire, even if that person doesn’t have experience in your industry.

5. Rethink your onboarding process

Adapting to a new industry is hard. Employees will find themselves facing an entirely different organizational culture, which means new ways of interacting with colleagues. If onboarding isn’t handled correctly, this could result in a higher rate of staff turnover.

Tackle this head-on by creating an onboarding process that will help new hires adapt to your culture. If possible, appoint a mentor who can help them learn the ropes and integrate themselves into your team.

Ready to expand your talent pool?

Talent acquisition from different industries can offer many advantages. You’ll gain fresh perspectives, learn about best practices from different sectors, and attract top talent to your team. If you’re currently struggling with talent shortages, it can help to look at job seekers with transferable skills, even if they lack relevant industry experience

But doing this isn’t always easy. It helps to have a human resources partner who can develop your talent strategy and help create a welcoming company culture. Book a call today with a Helios HR consultant and find out how you can build your dream team.

Explore the Talent Acquisition & RPO resource library