Here you are, in need of help. Someone left a key role to move to another position elsewhere, there was an unfortunate sickness, or you earned a big new client. Or, you may have become aware of a gap or opportunity, and you want to find just the right person—or people—to join the team.

When the decision to search for new employees is made, or made for you, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time or effort on HOW you hire; you just plain want to HIRE!

However, you do know that the cost of a “wrong” hire is huge. Each “failed” employee search costs tangible major dollars in training, lost productivity, and time to fill…not to mention intangible costs such as low morale, lost opportunities, and the toll on your employer brand. It’s scary when a new employee “transforms” into an adversary soon after you put in the effort to find and train them to be in your world. So, what can you do to find a better match right away? That person who, in all of their forms, is just right for the job? Do you have to learn and apply new terms and buzz phrases to find your new “heroes?”

One term we intuitively use at SDS and help our clients use by working with us is “transferable skills.” Sometimes you’ll hear “transformative skills.”

These are “buzz phrases”…but a buzz often starts when something has impact. There are many interpretations and definitions out there for transferable skills. Here’s one simple definition I like from

“Aptitude and knowledge acquired through personal experience such as schooling, jobs, classes, hobbies, sports etc. Basically, any talent developed and able to be used in future employment.”

Most hiring managers agonize when thinking they should consider these skills as they’re searching for that “needle in a haystack” perfect new employee who can do anything. They build lists of potential transferable skills, look online, research endless job descriptions, and honestly, go in circles. If you Google the phrase, you’ll see career coaching lists helping people build transferable skills, lists of military to civilian transferable skills, and countless ways to help people understand how to better search for a match which leverages a potential employee’s different work and life experiences.

Sounds difficult and exhausting, doesn’t it? To think of, and figure out how to search for, the transferable skills which might work for your crucial role can be time consuming, inexact, and worrisome.

Another way to consider and cover transferable skills is through customized talent science. If you work with a system, like ours at SDS, which has been capturing and leveraging transferable skills for over 15 years, you’re all set.

The concept of transferable skills allows for a person’s aptitude, behaviors, and outlook to factor in to their probability of being successful in certain jobs. It’s a little bit like that phrase “wherever you go, there you are.”

By including transferable skills, you are able to cast a much wider net when recruiting, which dramatically increases your odds of finding the right person. It widens your candidate pool! One of the problems we often encounter at SDS is companies getting too focused on finding a person with the exact experience they are seeking, and, as a result, they end up excluding many people who actually have the ability to do a great job for them. They actually narrow their pool and miss out on high potential candidates, simply because some work histories don’t precisely fit what they were expecting to see.

At SDS, we have many examples of helping companies hire people who, at first glance, appear to have no business even applying…but after assessing for their specific transferrable skills, we learned that these individuals could succeed in the jobs. Some of the most successful operators our oil refinery clients have hired actually had their main work experience in surprising areas such as the fast food industry.

The takeaway here is that many terms in the world of talent seem more complicated than they really are. Transferable skills are assets almost any applicant will possess—if you customize how you look for and understand them. We take care of that by working closely with you on what you DO know—your business—and using what we know to apply the talent science which “highlights the human” in human resources, and applying the full-spectrum talent fit that includes transferable skills.

Cars that turn into warriors, or villains, need not apply.