Using Transferable Skills In Recruitment

5 mins

Some skills are company or role-specific, while others can be utilized in every role you do....


Some skills are company or role-specific, while others can be utilized in every role you do. Transferable skills develop throughout your career - know what they are and set targets for improving them to maximize your job progression.

Before embarking on my career in recruitment, my life was on a very different trajectory. I finished studying at university and decided to go into supporting survivors of domestic abuse. In my role as an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate for one of the biggest women’s charities, I picked up many skills which have helped me in my journey thus far in recruitment. You may be wondering, how on earth does supporting survivors of abuse have any relation whatsoever to supporting people finding a new job? Well, believe it or not, there are quite a few similarities in the interpersonal skills needed to be successful in either profession.


Working in the women's sector for three years has provided me with vital skills that I use on a daily basis in both my personal and professional life. To begin, being resilient as a recruiter is critical. I don't believe anyone will be successful in this field unless they are resilient throughout their path. I'm sure this applies to many jobs in today's culture.

Some argue that today's youth simply give up when things don't work out because we want 'instant gratification,' but I don't believe this is the case. If we quit in the recruiting sector after the first obstacle or hardship, everyone's job would last approximately a week and there would be no recruiters left! The truth is that things go wrong. Every single day. It is a necessary part of the job.

Of course, being a good recruiter necessitates a certain level of accountability to avoid mistakes, but there are only so many variables over which we as people have influence. For example, we could find the 'perfect' candidate, conduct the 'perfect' qualification call, and send them to their 'dream job' where the location, requirements, salary, commute (the list goes on and on) all seem to line up perfectly for them until, before you know it, there's an uncontrollable that no one saw coming - the hiring company may lose the budget, the candidate may have a change of circumstance in their personal life, and there are countless other things that cannot be predicted and helped.

When we encounter these problems – some small, some seemingly monumental – it is imperative to be resilient in the face of challenge and to accept that this mishap may be a bump in our road, but down the line, there will be positive outcomes, we just need to keep going.


Second, one talent that I have found quite beneficial is the ability to adapt to a wide range of situations. Although many people do not consciously consider this, we are all constantly actively adapting. Consider the following scenarios: at home alone or with your pet; on a first date; out for dinner with your family; at an event seated next to your in-laws; in each of these scenarios, you are most likely not acting the same because you have learned to actively adapt to the energy of your physical surroundings, both the place and the people.

We adapt to survive, and this is a natural element of existence. As an IDVA, I had to communicate with my clients in one way while advocating for them with professionals in another. I acted one way in the trial, another way in the police station, and yet another way in the office with my colleagues. The same is true in recruiting. We must wear various hats in order to be successful. Of course, it is critical to be authentic throughout these processes; nonetheless, we must consider our company and set for various components of the job.

For example, when we speak to a candidate for the first time, similar to the 'first date situation, I am sure we are different from when we speak to them after they have done their last interview and are near to landing a position, as you would be after several dates with the same individual. We behave differently when taking references than when speaking with candidates. When we have our first call with a customer, we act differently than when we have worked with them on multiple jobs - similar to seeing the in-laws for the first time versus a year later.

Each time of course a level of maturity and professionalism is maintained, however being able to adapt and match the receiving person's energy and expectations in turn leads to success as a recruiter.

Advocacy to Problem Solve

The final one – being able to advocate well to solve a problem. This skill was quintessential in my success as an IDVA and in being a successful recruitment consultant.

As an IDVA, the program I worked for was high-risk; we were branded as a "homicide prevention service," which entailed a lot of active listening, advocacy, and quick thinking to protect the safety of the adults and children we were assisting. While being a recruiter does not (hopefully) require us to save anyone's life, we do need to be able to listen to and understand the needs of our clients and candidates, as well as solve any problems they may be experiencing.

For example, we may work with a client who has been trying to fill a post for what seems like an age, interviewing numerous individuals with no success. It is our obligation as recruiters to take the time to understand their needs and quickly assist them in overcoming any obstacles they may have encountered.

They may want a candidate shortly for a project starting in two weeks, but no one they have identified is willing to work on-site five days a week for the rate and responsibilities listed. It is then our job as recruiters to manage our client's expectations and find a candidate who can meet the client at an agreement that works well for both, keeping the client happy because their project can begin on time, and the candidate happy because they have found a new role that matches their lifestyle and needs.

To Conclude

Overall, there are a variety of abilities that each of us as recruiters utilize on a daily basis. On the surface, some people believe that recruitment is a 'simple' career route to pursue when unsure of what to do with their lives; however, anyone who has worked in the business knows that this is not the case.

As you can see from my comparison of transferrable abilities between my work safeguarding the safety of customers and their children and the talents I still actively utilize in my career as a recruiter, it is not an easy job! To be successful in life, an individual must have resilience, adaptability, and the capacity to advocate and problem-solve effectively.

If you're looking for a career change in recruitment but are unsure about having no experience or are worried that you have had a completely different work experience. Don't worry- recruitment is an industry filled with career changes with no experience in recruitment and go on to have incredibly successful careers. Get in contact today to hear about the incredible training and opportunities Franklin Fitch have for you to kickstart your career in recruitment.