Prescriptive hiring and avoiding insanity

Posting date:10 Jul 2019

Peter Glenn is the Founder and Partner of Fifty ID, a Private Equity backed business actively engaged in the acquisition of on-shore wind turbine sites. He is recognised as a pioneer in renewable energy asset aggregation with extensive transactional, capital raising and execution experience within global infrastructure and Private Equity firms. As someone with a hugely diverse career history, Peter believes hiring managers should throw away the checklist.

First things first, I have no one single specialism. I have operated across the Finance, Transport, software, manufacturing, retail, renewables and property sectors, to name a few. I am also not degree educated and joined a five-year apprenticeship scheme when coming out of education. I worked in a number of roles within large corporates in my early career which gave me great knowledge of different business models and these organisations provided excellent training to use as building blocks for my career.

The hardest thing I did in my career was leave full-time salaried employment. I didn’t have a mentor but I spoke to friends and family regarding my decision and it was one of the best things I have ever done. As I was looking to start up a business in a new sector, I made sure I was spending time with contacts of mine who operated in that space who I could learn from, gain a deeper understanding of the business model in order to help get clarity of mind for my own business plan.

But really; when you think about it, businesses are similar. There are only so many ways you can buy and sell stuff, whether that is a product or a service. Each sector will have different rhetoric but ultimately its all the same thing. Its only people which truly distinguish one company from another and how they operate internally.

When I was in the earlier days of my career, it was daunting when applying for roles in a space where I hadn’t worked before. Of course, you doubt yourself and you must believe in yourself, your own abilities and you mustn’t restrict yourself by only applying for roles similar to those you have done before.

It was the most rewarding of experiences and I would encourage others to do the same. Make sure you really think about your achievements and have tangible examples to support your experience. The hardest part of starting in a new sector is terminology and the rest is white noise. If you demonstrate you have the aptitude to pick things up quickly, you will be on the right track.

Another thing that is of great importance is meeting people who operate in that space. Be inquisitive and ask intelligent questions, sign up for industry newsletters, bulletins, look at the key players in the market and what content they are publishing, and then network. Not everyone likes networking events but I would encourage meeting as many people as you can and putting yourself out there. You never know where one conversation may lead you.

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