By Carole Hall, Senior Director, Talent Development and Training

One of the guiding principles at Alchemy is to embrace new perspectives as we look at everything we do to build the company. This includes how we determine whom we should hire—especially in a highly competitive market. One question that was posed to me early on was, “Do you think we can hire people from outside the existing consulting ecosystem and make them into productive and valuable Workday consultants?”

A lot of people might say no—it’s a challenging career in a field of people with experience from other system-consulting jobs. You need to be able to transform a customer’s business requirements into workable processes and configure them in a system…and that’s after you work through what the customer’s business requirements actually are. You also need to maneuver through what is sometimes perceived as a scary or threatening change for some of the customer’s employees.

But my answer was, “Yes…if we hire people with aptitude, and we have the right program.”

(OK, a little confession. My original answer to the question was just plain yes. I believe there are so many people who are bright, capable, and dedicated but who’ve not had a chance to prove themselves in a completely new industry and role.)

So, what about the caveats I added to my official yes? First is aptitude. We would need to find people who were ready to take on the challenge of going all-in to learn both how to be a consultant and the inner workings of Workday. They would need to want to help people by making their work life easier, and they would need to have an aptitude for systems. Where could we find people like that?

New college graduates are a fantastic pool of resources. They are often system savvy and eager to dive head first into their new career. But new grads are not the only demographic with first-rate candidates. We have found amazing candidates…everywhere. We’ve hired people from outside the Workday ecosystem who would not have made it past a resume screen based on traditional pro services criteria but who caught our eye based on their competence and demonstrated history of going above and beyond in their work. And we’ve put a program in place to teach them Workday.

Our Associate Consultant program is an investment in people (college grads and others) we believe have the right aptitude and attitude. They commit to spending the time and effort to learn Workday well enough to pass the rigorous certification classes. They also commit to continuing to learn and learn and learn…industries, consulting skills, business tools, business processes. The list is long, and they have to be willing to enthusiastically embrace it all.

We have started two cycles of our program so far, and I can tell you with conviction that we have found some incredibly talented and dedicated people I am so proud to call my teammates and my friends. I wonder where we will find our next great consulting candidates? The answer is everywhere!

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