Talent acquisition
April 11, 2023

Hiring for Transferable Skills: Actionable Ways To Find Your Next Best Hire

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Interested in hiring for transferable skills?

Why else would you be here reading this guide on how to find your next best hire with transferable job skills?

In the ever-evolving world of today, 69% of businesses report difficulties hiring and filling positions. It turns out it’s partly because traditional recruiting methods are out of date. And it’s not about talent shortage, but about unawareness of skill sets or their underestimation.

“What we’re seeing isn’t a skills shortage, it’s a skills blindness.” – Robert Newry

Years of experience in a particular field may be not so significant now, recruiters believe. Screening for experience alone, HR managers see a tremendous reduction in the diversity and size of the talent pool.

You do want to enrich your talent pool and hire better and faster in the digital world, don’t you?

That’s when transferable skills can become game-changers.

Transferable Skill Set: Why So Much Buzz Around It?

Let’s be honest – every hiring manager or recruiter is dreaming to cry out “Eureka!” after grabbing a “universal soldier” who can be thrown into any situation and survive every challenge, self-developing on the go, communicating messages to the team quickly and efficiently, and leading comrades to success.

That was practically a full set of transferable skills.

A transferable skill (or a “portable skill”) is an ability which is relevant across different areas of life, adaptable to any environment, and applicable to any challenge. It is a proficiency that allows performing a wide variety of jobs and is transferred by its owner from one post to another without any effort.

Check what HR managers consider as must-haves, when it comes to the most desirable skills that employees can transfer from job to job.

Top 10 Transferable Job Skills

Here’s a list of ten portable work skills which are the most expected attributes employers usually seek on candidates’ resumes:

  • People management
  • Communication (verbal, listening, writing, and presentation)
  • Work ethic
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Self-motivation
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Tech-savviness and digital literacy

How Can You Benefit Hiring Candidates With Transferable Skills?

The post-coronavirus era has caused a major shift, when portable skills are displacing hard tech skills and moving into the spotlight.

Why should you bother turning the Internet upside down to dig out the “diamonds” with transferable skill sets? Here’s why new hires possessing such capabilities are priceless:

They can boast of higher adaptability.

Such people are proud owners of universal tools they can tap into whenever required. Portable job skills make workers highly flexible and boost their multi-functionality.

They are easier and faster to teach something new.

Especially, when you implement a Learning & Development strategy continuously. Such employees are also highly motivated and engaged.

They are better at generating innovative ideas.

Curiosity, versatility, creativity, and resourcefulness, among all, help them be idea-generators.

They improve the team’s overall skill set and performance.

They are super-productive and shrewd. They lead by example, see the weakest spots, and manage people and resources to increase the general capacity of the team to tackle any challenges.

They can never lose or forget these skills.

Your employees will never dispose of transferable skills. They remain with them for a lifetime.

How can you detect such precious talents and lure them into your company? See below.

How To Hunt Down the Best Hire With Transferable Work Skills

We’ve prepared some actually working methods for you to enhance recruitment strategies, if you aim at transferable skills in candidates.

Prioritize transferable skills for the vacancy

Typically, the most appropriate time for it is when you build ideal candidate personals during talent mapping.

“Prioritization should start with determining the top three transferable skills. They must be easily recognizable in your vacancy description and visible in other places, where people can see them looking for a job,” notes Logan Mallory, VP of Motivosity.

“However, no matter which abilities and competencies you have listed so far, you should seek enthusiasm and extraordinarity, because when the first is a pointer toward passion for work and engagement in the workplace, the second is a driver for progress and innovations,” Logan adds.

Look for extraordinary CVs

Use automated sourcing and HR tools to help you recognize the most remarkable ones. Unfortunately, extraordinary CVs are very rare.

Why is that so?

It’s because over a half of job seekers can’t properly outline their portable skills and are unsure how to depict those in their resume.

Your well-written job description can help them do that. Read on to learn how exactly.

Work out a job description that appeals and explains

Two lines with contact information and the role won’t work.

Start with a concise company summary that reflects its culture, values, and orientation on further development. Mind that 56% of professionals consider employer branding as the most influential factor when choosing where to work.

Your job ad copy should be self-explanatory and emphasize the transferable skills you expect your ideal candidate to have. Besides job requirements, working conditions, duties, etc., it should also be rich in benefits.

To make the process of creation simpler for you, there are job description templates that can be adjusted and edited in accordance with your wants and needs.

Don’t forget about a SEO strategy for a job advert. Optimize it with corresponding keywords to let it be found by the search engines and placed in front of the job seekers’ eyes.

Craft an outstanding career page

Design a “wow” career page your candidates love. It should stand out and appeal to emotions. Its visitors will notice even the tiniest details in the way you present information.

Four principles to follow when crafting a career page:

  • Attract (SEO, appealing design)
  • Engage (attention grabbers, communication with the reader)
  • Convince (list of values, brand’s story, illustrations of company’s insides, perks, calls to action)
  • Convert (use persuasive phrases to turn curious visitors into enthusiastic applicants)

Don’t have enough time to mess with all of those?

You can build a career page in 5 minutes with an automated TRAFFIT generator. Invest in software solutions, following one of the HR trends.

Harness the power of interview

Stay away from interview bias when using the following tips to ensure a powerful interview:

Start with a question list

Preparing to interview someone, you should make a list of questions that bring transferable work skills to the surface, so that you could spot them in the candidate.

Don’t forget to prepare specific questions for remote employees about distractors at their workplace, challenges, motivators, team collaboration tools, etc.

Ask open-ended and problem-solving questions

Some question examples to use interviewing a potential hire with portable skills:

  • What was your worst working experience?
  • Can you give an example of ___?
  • If one of your colleagues had a tantrum, how would you react?
  1. What motivates you the most?
  2. Can you describe a situation, when you came up with the most effective solution? What steps did you take to find it?

What if we told you that you can conduct a successful interview with two questions only?

They are:

  • Can you describe your most significant accomplishment? and
  • How would you solve this problem?

Even with a two-question interview, you can test creativity, multi-functional thinking, organizational and strategic thinking, too.

Prepare brain-teasers

The purpose of brain-teasers isn’t to receive correct answers. They help a recruiter track the way of thinking, the general decision-making process, critical thinking skills, and the ability to find non-traditional methods to solve issues.

They show how well and, more importantly, how fast an interviewee can wriggle out of complicated situations and find the steps to tackle the toughest problems.

You may also try lateral thinking puzzles during an interview. The interviewee should find indirect and creative means of solving problems rather than use a logical step-by-step approach.

Use Adler’s 6S principle

Getting the greatest talents recruited can be as easy as 1-2-3, if you master performance-based hiring and apply Adler’s principle of 6S: Scope, Staff, Systems, Sophistication, Structure, and Speed.

Performance profiles can help you boost recruiter effectiveness, in this case.

Take advantage of predictive recruitment analysis

The Founder & CEO of BIWS, Brian Dechesare, believes that “Predictive analysis can be effectively applied in recruitment. With predictive modeling and analytics, an HR manager can see what works and what doesn’t considerably faster. It enables targeted hiring, in the first place. It also helps decipher between low-potential and high-potential applicants, driving better hiring decisions.”

Streamline your processes with an applicant tracking system and apply a data-driven approach with recruitment analytics.

Armed? Now Get Top Talents with Portable Skills on Board

The new waves and demands force recruiters to rethink the ways they’ve been adhering to while searching for the best hires. Effective recruitment seems to be close to impossible, if you don’t know some actionable methods that you can use to fish out an “all-rounder” from all the candidates.

You do know them now.

Use the above ways to get the greatest talents on board, those who can be self-starters, team players, problem-solvers, self-learners, and anyones you could only wish them to be.

P.S.: a stagnant HR manager is a dead HR manager.

It’s a guest post created by Erika Rykun – a career and productivity copywriter who believes in the power of networking. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and playing with her cat, Cola.

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