Definition: Transferable skills are abilities that were obtained in a given situation but can be employed in many other different scenarios. These skills come from different spheres of life but can be put to use in organizational or work environments.
What Does Transferrable Skill Mean?
Also known as soft skills, they are a set of natural or acquired talents obtained during different experiences and life paths that can be applied to new work environments. The attractive thing about these skills is that they are difficult to teach and it is highly valuable to hire individuals that already possess skills like leadership, conflict resolution and emotional intelligence. These abilities are often more important than technical knowledge, since work environments are shifting to become more social-oriented than task-oriented.
Individuals with good skills to relate with their peers have a higher chance to be hired or promoted, even if their academic knowledge or past work experience is not the brightest one. Among these skills the ones that are most commonly mentioned are: leadership, interpersonal relationships, organizational skills and communication.
Companies are frequently looking for people that already obtained or developed these particular capabilities, since they can reduce the amount of training and time invested to prepare them.
Harry is a mechanic that has been working for a local tire shop for the last 6 months as Mounting Supervisor. He has been looking for other job opportunities within the area and was recently interviewed by a local Ford Motors dealer. During the interview he was asked about his current responsibilities and the person in charge of the procedure was delighted to know that Harry had management experience.
Also, she noticed Harry was very outgoing and easy to relate to. Those two skills were the key for Harry to be hired. Since these were skills that Harry obtained during his experience at the tire shop and other life situations he has been exposed to, the company can take advantage of them, therefore they can be considered transferable skills.