Wow, I can’t believe we’re starting a new ride for 2016! Last year was crazy when it came to finding the right individual(s) for a job. Unemployment continued to fall and every company was looking for the best and brightest and wouldn’t settle for anything else.
I learned a very important lesson in 2015, which I think would benefit you as well. I learned not to judge a book by its cover. I know that’s easy to say, but that lifelong lesson that our parents have been trying to teach us finally hit home for me. As the market shifted in 2015 and unemployment continued to drop, I had to start taking a different approach to finding the types of individuals who would fit the open positions I was working on. So I really jumped in with both feet to this world of transferable skills that hasn’t been explored since 2008. I’m going to be very blunt – if you’re not looking at new potential employees based on what sort of transferable skills they have that could fit the position you’re trying to fill, than you’re in for an extremely rough 2016. I guess you always have the option to wait 12 to 18 months to fill open positions because the job description requires three to five years of experience, which you won’t budge on, and you’re only willing to pay $15 per hour where the market value is $20-$25 per hour. That candidate doesn’t exist in today’s market. You may find that unemployed individual who’s been making $25 per hour who will take $15 per hour because they need to get back to work, but think about if that person is taking the position as a filler until the right position comes along that meets their salary expectations. So, you’ll get maybe six to 12 months before they’ve moved on. Wouldn’t it make more sense to look at someone with transferable skills who’s been under employed and is eager to learn, gain experience, and get their foot in the door with a great organization? The difference in those two people is one is excited to have the opportunity and the other is there for a pay check. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take the excited candidate every time. I know thinking about this is a change for many of you, but the sooner you jump into the world of transferable skills, the better off you and your company will be.
I led a training earlier this year on how to view a resume and pull out transferable skills, as well as what questions you should ask during an initial phone call. The feedback and impact it had on my staff was amazing. If you are interested in finding out additional information about this, don’t hesitate to ask.
Let’s look at one example of transferable skills that may be beneficial to many of you. Customer service is the easiest of transferable skills to find on a resume. Just think about it, if someone has worked in a retail setting for the last one to two years, they are fully qualified to handle almost any customer service position in any company. You may think that’s not true, so let’s look a bit deeper into what retail customer service really is. It’s cash handling, it’s tech support, it’s face-to-face interaction with a diverse group of individuals, it’s clear communication, it’s a team player who is willing to go above and beyond, is friendly, outgoing, patient, and downright pleasant in most cases. Now tell me someone with those skills can’t assist your customers. Just because they may not have the exact work experience that you outline on your job description doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified to do that job and do it well. If you want to grow your business in 2016 this is something you need to embrace and buy into. If you don’t, your competition is going to leave you in the dust.
Good luck in 2016! If you need advice or have questions on transferable skills and how it’s impacted some of my clients as well as us here at Celebrity Staff, give me a call.
Eric joined Celebrity Staff in 2012 and currently serves as a Sales Manager for the Omaha Team. Prior to joining Celebrity Staff, Eric was a marketing executive for four years specifically focusing on the B2B market. As a Sales Manager, Eric concentrates on coaching and mentoring a team of Account Managers. Outside of the office, Eric enjoys spending time with his wife Reagan, daughter Adelynn, and son Gannon. When he isn’t spending time with his family he enjoys attending sporting events, playing softball, and boating.