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The Importance of Hiring Transferable Skills
By Hanadi Tannous
July 13, 2021
man in job interview showing transferable skills

At first, glance when looking at the talent pool, you might find it hard to find someone with the right resume or background for the role you are trying to fill. But just because the candidates do not have experience in a specific industry, doesn’t mean that they are not qualified. Looking at talent from different industries with transferable skills can not only widen your talent pool but also attract diverse talent.

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills are exactly what they sound like — skills that can be used in different professional settings no matter the industry or job position. Often these are seen in the form of soft skills such as strong communication and leadership capabilities, but they can also be hard skills that work well in many settings, like coding or data analysis. The trick is hiring those with marketable skills that are easily transferable to a new industry.

Determine the transferable skills that matter to you.

Depending on the position you need to fill on your team, the skills needed will be different. But when looking at transferable skills a great place to start is soft skills. In the tech industry, some of the most important are being a strong communicator, able to manage time efficiently, and having solid organizational skills.

Sometimes, however, transferable skills are intangible. In order to understand which skills are necessary, you will need to look at the responsibilities and goals for this position. Are you looking for someone that can manage a team? Or maybe this person will be responsible for customer relations? Understanding the end goal will help you find the right candidate who checks all the boxes.

job applicant talking about experience

Look at other industries.

Displaced workers often shift to new industries during times of economic stress. By not looking at other industries you are missing out on available talent. According to the Harvard Business Review,  employees in the hospitality, retail, and transportation sector can successfully transfer to roles in sales, management, and business operations positions.

Another non-traditional segment of candidates often overlooked by hiring managers is veterans. Military members have tons of experience and can be a great fit for a variety of civilian jobs. We often see their skills translate seamlessly into corporate jobs.


Attract talent with transferable skills.

Unfortunately, 57% of today’s talent is unable to identify their transferable skills with confidence. That is why it is important to ensure you are highlighting the skills needed for your open roles. Some simple ways to accomplish this are updating your job descriptions to explicitly include the skills you need, and making sure your company’s website includes any training and development opportunities available for talent open to a career change.

Sharing the stories of current employees that successfully changed roles and career paths can showcase your team’s diversity and help talent from other industries see how they could be great for your team.

Focusing on transferable skills when hiring can bring you many benefits. Not only do you have a bigger talent pool, but you will also have a team ready to adapt and tackle different challenges.

If you need help building your tech team, our sales team is eager to help! Shoot us an email at hire@skillstorm.com.



An innovation and opportunity accelerator, SkillStorm is the surging force behind the transformation of today’s tech workforce.

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