In today's world of candidate shortage in software sales, sales engineering and business development disciplines I still find it interesting that clients are still scared to make solid hires based on drive, capability, and auxilary experience. I simply call this the CYA or Cover Your Ass hiring plan. We're coming out of a recession and I've seen it before. Clients want the safe bet. Hire the guy or gal out of a competitor so that if they don't work out they can point to their resume and say 'well, they came from a competitor, how was I to know?'.
Let me rant a little here, as I think that the best hires that I've ever seen in my 14+ years of recruiting are those where the hiring manager hired the best athlete, or the DNA hire, as I call it. There are several reasons for this;
1) when you hire the best athlete you hire someone who is motivated and has demonstrated success coming up to speed in new technologies.
2) you get more loyal employees. When you hire someone that has something to prove they typically work harder to make sure that you know that they appreciate you taking a chance on them (being that they weren't necessarily coming out of a competitor and an easy hire for you). Also, they tend to stay longer at companies, in my experience, when given the right resources.
3) they don't have to explain to their customer base why they were 'wrong' for several years, now selling that customer a competitive product or service.
Smart hiring is tricky, but it costs you money if you don't hire right. Consider these factors when bringing your next person aboard. If you see that a candidate has 80% of the skills and 100% of the attitude and ambition to succeed in the role, then you have just discovered the right recipe.
So, next time you see a resume from someone that is in an complimentary market, take the interview. You never know what kind of jewel you'll find.