The importance of transferable skills

The importance of transferable skills

Anaelle Guyomard

Talented International

The importance of transferable skills



One of the main struggles when it comes to hiring is feeling like there is no available candidate with the skills you are looking for. But what if a faulty hiring process is getting in the way of your ability to identify fitting candidates with valuable transferable skills? One of the most prevalent obstacles which are facing hiring managers is an over-reliance on prior industry-specific experience, according to researchers from Harvard Business School. Taking the chance on a candidate who is new in the industry, can pay off and result in a grateful and highly motivated hire with a brand-new view on the work and methods you currently use.


What are transferable skills?


Transferable skills are abilities and/or knowledge that are not job specific. Which means workers who can acquire these valuable, flexible skills in one job or industry can then transfer them to another field and gain in effectiveness. Many of these foundational abilities, such as communication or interpersonal skills, are needed in nearly every job. For example, customer service skills might not be necessary for non-customer facing roles, but they are invaluable for client-facing workers in any industry.


What are the most important and interesting transferable skills to look for?


Employers across a wide array of industries tend to value a similar range of foundational skills, including communication, teamwork and collaboration, and problem solving. Other valuable skills include analytical thinking and digital and technical skills. In addition to skills that are likely to be valuable assets for workers in any industry, there are also more specific skills, such as competitive pricing analysis or logistics, that translate effectively from one industry to another.


Make sure that your current hiring strategy isn’t filtering out highly capable and accomplished professionals who are looking to shift careers or industries. These highly motivated workers often enjoy the challenge of learning something new and bring with them qualities such as curiosity and critical thinking that allow them to quickly acquire the industry-specific knowledge needed to successfully transition to your open positions.


Use Applicant Software Carefully


Most employers are already using an ATS or recruitment management systems (RMS) to help streamline their recruiting process. These systems can be designed to filter out applicants whose resumes lack certain qualifications you desire in an ideal candidate or can also help creating rating systems to score applicants based on various criteria selected beforehand. Like any computer application, however, your ATS is only as effective as the information you give it to work with. Which means an overly restrictive ATS can hurt your recruiting efforts as it cannot replace human discernment. So in order to avoid any “mistake”, try to make sure your use of ATS and RMS aren’t disqualifying applicants by rigidly adhering to hard-to-find, narrowly defined keywords during the early stages of your vetting process.


Talent Sales Account Manager

Talented International – Artificial Intelligence Recruiting

Barcelona – Berlin – Dublin – Paris

Phone : +33 1 84 88 97 97


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