Changing Industry-Is it really tough ?

Does moving from one industry to another really matter so much in HR. For eg: Moving from and IT industry to a BPO. How much difference it will make to HR as a profession ? I came across an interview scenario where this question was pertinently asked to the interviewee. “How do you think you would be adjusting to BPO since you have never worked in any ?”

There is no problem with this question or the interviewer. But the problem lies in the mindset. I think HR,as a core profession, really matters and caters to an entity called Human Being. So be it in BPO industry or IT or ITES. All these industry has people and at the end of it their demands are more or less similar and common. So how will it matter to an good HR professional to cater to BPO employees ? There might be different challenges pertaining to BPO but that’s that. Which are solvable and not to be taken as major issues. An HR professional coming from IT industry should not be just shooed away because he / she hasn’t worked for a BPO ever ! What matters is performance and not Industry !

What could really make a difference is moving into to an entirely different set up that is from IT / ITES to Manufacturing. Yes, there it does matter since the set of people and their needs change entirely. So the expertise required to handle this set of humans is different. Here also the chance of experimenting should not be ruled out completely. The potential of an HR professional speaks for itself. And if there is potential this change will also be taken as a challenge and would be overcome by the qualified HR professional.

I keep it open for you to comment on. Is it difficult for an HR professional to shift from IT industry to a BPO ?