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Why Transferable Skills Are More In Demand Than Ever

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by Startacus Admin


Joseph Williams, co-Founder and CEO of inclusive recruitment platform, Clu shares some insights on how recent changes in the world of work have impacted the demand for transferable skills.

Since its inception, the recruitment process has centred around the prestige of technical and academic skills. But the world of work has changed significantly over recent years and so have hiring priorities, according to recent data.

christina-wocintechchat-com-yyp_HpXrUfw-unsplash.Transferable skills have become even more important given the rise of remote and autonomous work and the need for strong skills in communication, accountability, resilience, and adaptability to succeed in a virtual world.

Hiring for transferable, or human, skills is growing in importance across industries, levels, and work environments. And when layered against the backdrop of the great resignation, we are seeing a noticeable shift in hiring ‘reliable talent’ over ‘top talent’.

Transferable skills can’t be taught like technical skills. They are often innate and down to culture, life experience and personality. Therefore, hiring the right transferable skills will always set solid foundations for a team member you can develop over the medium to long term.

In contrast, technical capabilities do not provide a foundation for transferable skills to be built upon and carry more risk when they are the sole focus of a hiring decision. Technical skills regularly evolve, making it difficult for someone with an entirely technical skillset to remain relevant throughout their career. Without the matching human skills needed to continue one’s own development openly and with humility, a great hire last year can quickly become a legacy challenge the next.

linkedin-sales-solutions-1A8yP_5msac-unsplash According to newly released data from Clu, of almost 150,000 jobs converted into skills matrices since Summer 2021, 4 out of the top 5 skills in demand centred around interpersonal skills. These transferable skills were collaboration, communication, relationship management and stakeholder management. The next highest in demand skills centred around efficient practice with problem solving, analytical mindset and time management taking poll position. The highest in demand technical skills are data analysis, reporting, Python and SQL but these do not place in the top ten.

According to Clu’s data, the top ten most sought-after skills in the UK are:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Communication
  3. Relationship Management
  4. Stakeholder management
  5. Problem Solving
  6. Analysis
  7. Organisation
  8. Time management
  9. Customer-focus
  10. Teamwork 

Never underestimate the power of a transferable skills. In LinkedIn’s Global Trends Report, 89% of recruiters say that when a hire doesn't work out, it usually comes down to a lack of these skills. Since the pandemic, soft skills are no longer optional. Instead, they are essential to get hired and succeed in today's workplace. By keeping them sharp, you’ll be able to stand out, remain competitive, and ultimately future-proof your career.


 Joseph Williams is the Co-Founder and CEO of skills-based hiring platform, Clu. His passion is building technology to increase social mobility and equity of opportunity in the job market. He is also a Co-Founder of ParaPride, the LGBTQ disability charity, Co-Founder of the Access2Funding campaign and sits on the Advisory boards of Think Equal, The Mentoring Lab, Birkbeck University and is Kings College London’s inaugural Activist-in-Residence.

Joseph is a recognised thought leader in the recruitment and accessibility space, with a focus on the future of work, the skills-based economy and social mobility. He regularly presents data to think tanks, government and change leaders on the impacts and methods of democratic and equitable hiring practices.

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Published on: 1st November 2022

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