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Escaping the career trap

Published on Thursday, 12 Jul 2012
Illustration: Bay Leung

Employees are being trapped in career silos because they don't believe they can cross industry boundaries. Many employers, meanwhile, fail to consider the transferable skills of candidates who could support their growth plans.

That's one trend highlighted in our latest "Hays Quarterly Report", which shows that while skills shortages remain a challenge, many employers have yet to consider candidates with transferable skills.

Skills shortages are still a factor in Hong Kong, but top talent is readily available to employers who respond by becoming more flexible in their requirements when it comes to a candidate's industry background and transferable skills.

For example, an HR professional with experience in the fast-moving-consumer-goods industry has the technical skills suitable for financial services. That's why we advise employers to give credence to transferable skills. Employers who fail to do so could be missing out on talented and motivated workers.

It is really concerning in sectors where there is a shortage of skilled professionals. Employers need to consider candidates who have the needed competencies but may not at first glance be the perfect match.

We would also advise candidates to show an employer how they are suitable to the role and how their skills cross over effectively. Do not rely on busy employers to spot your potential.

Marc Burrage, regional director, Hays in Hong Kong

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