​As a Recruiter we are trained to focus on a candidates cv, to look at their skills & industry experience to ascertain whether they can do the job you’re recruiting for. However, by only focusing on specific competencies, you could overlook a vast talent pool of applicants with transferable skills.

With the changing job market trends and skill shortages, recruiters, employers, and HR must consider employing people with transferable skills to address the skills gap within the business.

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills are basic skills that can be applied in various jobs. They are acquired through experience as an employee moves from one career to another. There are many transferable skills, from hard skills like accountancy, sales, and project management to the ‘softer’ skills of ‘communication,’ ‘teamwork,’ ‘problem-solving,’ and ‘leadership.’

Employing people with the right transferable skills can bring a new energy and outlook to the role and into the business. When we are hiring for new Recruiters or Trainees, we will always look at candidates who are happy to switch jobs and try something new. They are often a good bet because they’re motivated to move outside their comfort zones and will adapt to change. Self-motivated people require less supervision and oversight than other employees. They tend to take the initiative and get things done without being asked.

So, what skills should we be looking for?

Problem-solving – the ability to recognise problems, analyse them, assess different probable solutions, select the best solution, and implement it.

Teamwork – people with empathy that co-work effectively can make the team more productive. Candidates who can prove they can collaborate effectively will be a valuable contribution to any company, with employers reassuring them that they will ‘fit in’.

Work ethic – employees who take their job seriously! These are your employees that work long hours and perform tasks that are sometimes outside their scope of responsibilities. Every business needs these skills and workers.

Communication – good communication skills will enable employees to deliver their ideas, confidently speak to all management levels, and listen effectively.

How will companies benefit from hiring candidates with transferable skills?

Hiring candidates with transferable skills can offer several benefits to organizations.

1. Reduced training time

2. More diverse work force

3. Promotes adaptability and agility

‍4. Enhanced problem-solving.

5. Improved staff retention

‍6. Leadership potential

‍7. Knowledge & Skills in the business

How to attract candidates with transferable skills

Hire Outside your Industry / Write better job descriptions / Focus on the significance of soft skills / Hire for potential & offer development.

Something I’m always a fan of is candidates that are self-motivated, who want to constantly improve and learn, mainly because they tend to have a growth mindset. People with a growth mentality are open to feedback and are willing to learn from mistakes, hence the potential to grow.

Finally, supporting employees’ development through training programs, mentoring, job shadowing, and ongoing feedback. Foster an environment that encourages solid learning and provides opportunities for employees to maximize their potential.


The future of employment & hiring will depend on employers being flexible and looking at all the “outside the box “options with candidates. There will always be numerous opportunities for people with the right transferable skills.

Employers must realise that technical skills can be taught and learned quickly, for example offering more in house development opportunities and learning on the job apprenticeships will help companies build a strong skilled workforce.

Instead of looking for ‘hard’ skills consider the soft skills candidates possess and how they could add value. Transferable skills not only show what a candidate can already do – but demonstrate what they can bring to the role moving forward. The key for employers is to be open-minded and look for talent that they might not have considered before.

For more information on Syntech’s recruitment solutions and current jobs please visit our website – www.syntechrecruitment.co.uk.