Why Do Transferable Skills Matter When Hiring?

Hiring Interview

As a business leader, one of your primary jobs is to find the best employees for your organization. In addition to finding candidates that possess the technical skills needed for the specific job, it is important to hire people who boast a myriad of soft or portable skills. Also known as transferable skills, these qualities help distinguish the extraordinary prospective employee from the ordinary. Here are a few reasons why you need to pay special attention to this unique set of skills:

What Are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills are those intangible qualities that can be transferred from one job to another, regardless of the position. These skills are useful to employers across a wide spectrum of career paths and industries. The Balance Careers says that some of the most meaningful transferable skills include the ability to communicate, organization, willingness to show teamwork, adaptability, and leadership skills. Regardless of your industry, an employee who possesses these skills will prove themselves to be an invaluable addition to your organization.

Why Do They Matter?

Many transferable skills are merely an innate ability that cannot be taught. It is most often easier to teach a new employee the skills specific to the job than it is to teach them transferable skills. An employee with a solid set of transferable skills will be able to ease into the job more seamlessly and become a productive member of the team in a shorter amount of time than an employee who does not have a strong set of transferable skills. According to The Hire Talent, nearly half of new hires leave within 18 months and 89% of those employees leave because of attitude reasons. Taking the time to find employees with transferable skills will help to reduce staff turnover and strengthen the overall core of your team.

How Do You Evaluate Them?

Unlike more tangible and measured abilities and talents, transferable skills can be more difficult to evaluate. Work It Daily explains that in order to effectively measure a candidate’s transferable skills, you will need to ask more detailed and loaded questions. Prospective employees should be able to show examples of how they have used their personal set of transferable skills in a job situation. Asking them to provide concrete examples will yield the most details. Talking to references will also likely help in the evaluation of the candidate.

It is important to not discount the importance of these portable skills. An employee with these skills will be more likely to serve your organization with great success for the long-term.

Need more leadership inspiration? Check out the Leadership & Management articles on Haley Lynn’s blog, and reach out to Haley for business coaching!


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