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Hiring: The Value of Transferable Skills

"Twenty or 30 years ago, a hiring manager at a Fortune 500 company was much more willing to give, say, a dance major a chance. That manager would realize that such graduates were good at teamwork, acquiring new skills and practicing for long hours. Give them some corporate training and they become productive employees, was the thinking...Hiring managers who look beyond narrowly focused credentials might uncover something even more important: energetic workers who are determined to make a mark and help their companies succeed…bottom lines will not suffer – and might even improve – if companies provide opportunity to a population hungry to prove its value.”

~ Robert W. Goldfarb

I see it so often with hiring managers being so stringent on requirements that they bypass some of the best talent out there. 

They don’t have experience with X software (even if they have experience with the equally complex Y software)? Disqualified.

They don’t have a background in ABC industry but have kicked arse in a similar role where they had to learn the product or service very quickly? Disqualified. 

They’ve not devoted their entire career to this type of position? Disqualified. 

Now yes, some roles have enough qualified folks out there to fill openings quickly without having to get creative, but many managers keep jobs open for months and months and months simply because they’re not willing to budge on their requirements. 

I’ve seen where the successes are – understanding what can be taught and what cannot.  Having a solid understanding of transferable skills. And finally, being able to evolve in thoughts about how to hire – bitching then refusing to change, or getting out there and talking to others in these situations who’ve found a way to be successful, then adapting!

Not only will creative approaches to hiring help your PR (and often your diversity goals), it’ll ultimately help your bottom line.


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