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Transfer skills to a new role

Published on Thursday, 10 May 2012
Illustration: Bay Leung

Employees are getting trapped in career silos as 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.

This is one trend highlighted in the latest Hays Quarterly Report, which shows that while skills shortages remain an ongoing challenge, many employers have yet to consider candidates with transferable skills.

Employers who respond by being flexible in requirements over a candidate's background and transferable skills secure top talent.

For example, a human resources professional with experience in the fast-moving consumer goods industry has the necessary technical skills to perform his or her role in the financial services industry. That is why we advise employers to give credence to transferable skills. Over-emphasising the value of previous same-industry experience may see them miss out on talented and motivated workers.

Employers may need to consider candidates with the necessary competencies who may not be, at first glance, the perfect match. This extends to considering candidates with transferable skills and using training to overcome any skills gaps.

We advise candidates to show an employer how they suit a role and how their skills cross over. Do not rely on employers spotting your potential.

Marc Burrage, regional director, Hays in Hong Kong

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