How to Recruit for Transferable Skills

During a talent shortage, companies often struggle to find candidates with the exact qualifications and experience they desire. Not only are we in the middle of a talent shortage, the employment and population data show that recruiting is going to be a true challenge in the long term.  

For companies to succeed, hiring managers will need to consider recruiting candidates with transferable skills. Transferable skills are abilities and competencies that can be applied across different roles, industries, or contexts. Here are some of the benefits of recruiting transferable skills: 

  • Access to a wider talent pool:
    By focusing on transferable skills, companies can broaden their search and tap into a larger pool of potential candidates. This increases the chances of finding suitable individuals who may not possess the exact experience or qualifications required but have the capacity to adapt and learn quickly.
  • Improved flexibility and adaptability:
    Transferable skills indicate a candidate’s ability to adapt to new roles and responsibilities. During a talent shortage, companies may need employees who can quickly transition into different positions or take on additional responsibilities. Candidates with transferable skills are often more flexible, making them valuable assets in dynamic and evolving environments. 
  • Reduced hiring time and costs:
    Searching for candidates with highly specific qualifications and experience can be time-consuming and costly. By considering transferable skills, companies can streamline their hiring process and potentially fill positions faster. Moreover, transferable skills can be developed through various experiences, such as internships, volunteer work, or personal projects, which may be cost-effective alternatives to traditional professional training.
  • Innovation and fresh perspectives:
    Hiring candidates with transferable skills from different backgrounds and industries can bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the company. They may offer unique insights, creative problem-solving approaches, and cross-pollination of ideas from their previous experiences, ultimately contributing to the company’s growth and competitiveness.
  • Long-term growth and development:
    Transferable skills tend to be more enduring than specific technical skills that may become outdated over time. By investing in candidates with transferable skills, companies can promote long-term growth and development within their workforce. These skills can be honed and adapted as the company evolves, allowing employees to take on new challenges and roles as needed. 

How to Recruit Candidates with Transferable Skills 

The value of recruiting people with transferable skills is clear. But the challenge is how to attract and identify people with transferable skills. A recent survey found that 57% of candidates can’t identify their own transferable skills and 58% aren’t sure how to include those skills on their resume.  

As employers and hiring managers, here are some things you can do to help make it easier for candidates to see how their skills align with your open positions: 

  1. Clearly define the transferable skills needed:
    Start by identifying and clearly defining the transferable skills that are essential for the role and align with your company’s needs. Determine which skills are critical for success and prioritize them accordingly. This will help you create targeted job descriptions and attract candidates who possess those specific skills.
  2. Assess transferable skills during the selection process:
    To evaluate candidates’ transferable skills effectively, incorporate appropriate assessment methods into your selection process. Consider using behavioral interviews, case studies, situational judgment tests, or skills-based assessments that allow candidates to demonstrate how they have applied their skills in different contexts. Assess their ability to adapt, learn quickly, and transfer their skills to new situations.
  3. Focus on potential and willingness to learn:
    Look for candidates who exhibit a strong willingness to learn and grow, as well as the potential to acquire new skills and adapt to different roles. Transferable skills can often be developed and expanded upon, so it’s crucial to identify candidates who possess a growth mindset, are open to new challenges, and have a track record of learning and adapting in their previous experiences.
  4. Broaden your candidate search:
    Cast a wide net when sourcing candidates, exploring different channels such as professional networks, industry-specific events, online platforms, and referral programs. Reach out to candidates who may have relevant transferable skills from diverse backgrounds, industries, or educational paths.
  5. Provide training and development opportunities:
    Once you’ve recruited candidates with transferable skills, invest in their professional development. Offer training programs, mentorship opportunities, and ongoing learning initiatives that support the enhancement of their skills and facilitate their integration into the new role.
  6. Emphasize the value of transferable skills:
    Clearly communicate the importance and value of transferable skills to potential candidates. Highlight how these skills can lead to career growth, opportunities for advancement, and the ability to work in various roles or industries. Make it clear that your organization values versatility, adaptability, and continuous learning. 
  7. Partner with PrideStaff:
    At PrideStaff, we work with you to identify the essential skills and experience needed and the desired characteristics you’re looking for. We then do the heavy lifting for you. Through in-depth screening, skill checks, reference checks, and thorough vetting, we will provide you with talent that possesses the required skills, but also the transferable skills that make someone successful at your organization.   

Ready to Attract Top Talent with Transferable Skills? 

Connect with a local PrideStaff office today. Our team will help you identify which transferable and soft skills align with your current job openings. We will then go to work identifying and vetting candidates that will be a great fit.  By combining the right blend of experience with appropriate transferable skills, we will help you build a diverse and adaptable workforce even during a talent crisis.