Wanted: Transferable Skills
Newsletter volume 1 number 9
As companies attempt to reengineer the way work gets done, HR professionals and managers find they must be able to evaluate transferable skills when interviewing candidates. Finely tuned interviewing skills can help managers determine the extent to which skills, rather than experience, qualify a person for a job.
According to a survey of 2500 HR professionals by the Employment Management Association and Thomas Magnum (results written and compiled by Elizabeth Dickey), most managers believe that up to 75% of jobs lost to downsizing are gone for good. There will be no return to "business as usual."
Many companies are currently attempting to transform "downsizing" into "rightsizing," retaining employees by placing them in new jobs in the growth side of their business. But even though over 60% of the companies surveyed by EMA report that they are adding staff as needed, most of the hiring is taking place in high tech fields while most of the lost jobs are in accounting, marketing and all levels of management except sales and customer support.
Those employees who can make a successful transition into a new job need to be flexible, team oriented, able to handle ambiguity and have low control needs. The implications are clear when trying to fill newly created jobs, managers might have to increasingly consider candidates from other disciplines. Now, they will need to develop new methods of interviewing that allow them to identify required qualities and evaluate the transferability of a person's skills to a different field.