Are your employees resilient to change? Transferable skills are essential

light bulb in a thought bubble

When you’re hiring, how often do you take a candidate’s transferable skills into account?

Katherine Wiid of Career Ambitions writes:

I spend a lot of time coaching candidates to recognise their transferable skills and the value they add. Are employers making the most of these skills and thinking about a candidate’s potential to perform in the future, rather than just hiring based on a checklist?

It often seems as though we are blind to transferable skills – both in ourselves and in potential hires. Transferable skills are the key to hiring a candidate who is going to be able to keep up with the fast paced world of work – and keep on top of the rapid change and challenges that is happening at the moment.

“There are kids in school today who, by their twenties, will be working in jobs and industries which are yet to be invented.”-  Marcus Scott (Chief Operating Officer and CFO at TheCityUK)

How can we hire people with technological skills that we do not know will be required? Or hire people that will be able to fill roles that at the moment don’t exist? The short answer: we can’t.

What we can do is hire people who have the transferable skills to succeed in any climate – people who operate with resilience. People who can adapt, learn and be resilient to change.

What are transferable skills?

Often referred to as ‘soft skills’, these are skills that can be used across all industries and roles. Skills such as communication, organisation, strategic thinking or problem solving. Skills that will ultimately help a candidate to succeed and thrive in any position, within any industry.

Stop hiring specialists, start hiring generalists.

As hiring managers, we have a tendency to hire people who are specialists. Experts in one area who will be able to perform a very specific role to a very high level. The problem with this is that it doesn’t future proof your team.

In his article How We Fill the Jobs of the Future, Marcus Scott writes:

“In five or six years’ time, the most valuable employee will need to have an even greater and more diverse range of skills and experience. They might, for example, be a part-qualified accountant, part-qualified data scientist and part-qualified lawyer. That mix of skills today may not necessarily qualify them as a highly-skilled candidate in the traditional sense; more a jack of all trades. However, in future years, a person with such a breadth of skills and expertise will be invaluable.”

Let’s reset the way that we look at candidates.

We need to stop thinking of soft skills as ‘nice to haves’ and start thinking of them as essential qualities when hiring. This way the companies we are hiring for will be able to operate with resilience no matter what changes or technological advances are thrown at us…


Based in Cambridge, Career Ambitions has a strong reputation for enabling highly-trained and talented individuals to get through major career change, redundancy and/or indecision to realise their career potential and meet their ambitions.

Career Ambitions