It can be frustrating for a recruiter when they are not able to find the perfect candidate. But often, it’s actually a faulty hiring process that’s getting in the way of locating good-fit people, especially in today’s labor-tight market. Frequently hiring managers tend to focus on candidates with highly industry-specific skills and experience. This can significantly narrow down the pool of potential applicants and result in higher chances of missing out on exceptional candidates with transferable skills.
What Are Transferable Skills?
Transferable skills, also referred to as portable or crossover skills, refer to abilities and knowledge that are not job-specific, such as creative thinking, communication, or leadership skills. These valuable, flexible skills are developed over the entire course of a person’s career, acquired from various jobs or industries, and can be transferred to a plethora of varied roles, situations, and industries.
The value of these foundational abilities is that these are necessary to most industries and can be applied in almost every job. Thus, they can render a candidate a potential top performer for a work position even if they don’t have the exact technical skills, training, or experience.
What Are The Top Transferable Skills?
Some of the most valuable transferable skills include:
- Creative thinking
- Technical Skills
- Problem Solving
- Management & Leadership Skills
Why Are Transferable Skills Important While Recruiting?
1. Widening the Candidate Pool
When a recruiter is looking to fill a position, they usually decide whether a person is suitable or not based on whether they have the exact skills mentioned in the posting. But this approach often results in recruiters missing out on perfectly good candidates who have the requisite skills to make them a potential fit. So looking at transferable skills opens up the range of candidates and provides access to some great people.
2. New Potential
There are a host of advantages when it comes to hiring candidates based on their potential. One major benefit is that it allows the employee to be developed and shaped as the company grows. Hiring candidates with transferable skills allows HR managers to source new talent where they can provide mentorship and further opportunities for learning. This in turn leads to greater employee satisfaction.
3. Adding Diversity
It is well known that diversity enhances innovation and boosts productivity. Research shows that diverse teams are better at problem solving and creativity, and companies with a diverse employee group are also more prepared for change. People with varied backgrounds bring in their own unique perspective when it comes to new projects and getting jobs done quicker.
4. Employees Stay in Their Jobs Longer
Since hiring employees with transferable skills provides more opportunities for upskilling, it results in happier employees who stay on longer at a company. When employees are aware that their organization is invested in their growth, they will be more motivated and engaged. Retaining good employees benefits the business and also saves on hiring and onboarding costs.
5. More Flexibility
The best teams are built on adjustment and flexibility. Recruiting professionals who have less experience but have good transferable skills allows for more adaptable employees, who are ready to adjust and learn. Hiring people who have the exact skill set you were looking for seems ideal, but there is a risk that they could turn out to be less responsive and open to different ways of working.
How To Hire For Transferable Skills?
1. Rewrite Your Job Descriptions
If you want to attract the best people to your organization, you need to pay careful attention to your job postings. Job descriptions that are too specific and focus primarily on technical skills have a chance of being missed out on by great candidates who could be an ideal fit for your company. Emphasize that you’re open to candidates from outside your sector or people who may not have extensive experience, but who display the right transferable skills.
2. Rethink Your Idea of the Ideal Candidate
The idea of the perfect candidate with all the requisite technical skills has undergone a change in modern times. While hiring, make sure you focus on both hard skills and transferable skills. Have a clear discussion with your HR and hiring teams, and emphasize the importance of hiring promising candidates with a variety of skills. Determine the kind of person you are looking for in your company, and implement recruitment practices that support that.
3. Assess Candidates for Preferred Transferable Skills as Part of Their Job Application
When you have determined the requisite transferable skills you want to prioritize in your candidates, you can start assessing them as part of their job application process. These assessments would be distinct from job-specific screenings, for example, in the form of aptitude tests that highlight a person’s soft skills and strengths outside of the specific requirements for the job.
4. Allow Candidates to Demonstrate Transferable Skills During Interviews
Once a candidate reaches the interview stage, it’s a great opportunity to evaluate their soft skills on the go. Ask interesting questions and give them various scenarios that allow them to demonstrate transferable skills like teamwork, innovation, and thinking on their feet. This will enable you to probe into a candidate’s different capabilities and understand what useful skills and expertise they can bring to your organization.
According to experts, the future of recruiting will focus significantly on people with the right transferable skills over the coming decades. Whether you are large corporation or an IT Executive Search firm, you need to realize that technical skills can be picked up quickly, but what they should be looking for are people with skills like communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership.
At Employvision, one of the leading recruitment agencies in USA with over 15 years of proven track record in recruiting top technology talent, we are aware that following the correct strategy and evaluating candidates for both technical and transferable skills will result in a win-win situation for any business. This will help organizations recruit the right people and create a team of professionals with rich and varied skills.
Contact Employvision and start hiring the best IT talent today!