14 October 2021

Guildhall’s Co-Founder Tom Baird ponders: Is it time we make more use of transferable skills?

I had the opportunity to meet with the General Manager at one of our new FMCG clients here in Dubai. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss several new areas of expansion for them across the region, and how best to tackle identifying and then attracting these strategic hires. All in all a very normal type of meeting.

However I was left pondering later in the day about the topic of transferable skills, and individuals being able to traverse industries because they possess the skills required.

I think of myself as a person who is quite open-minded on the subject. After more than a decade advising clients and making recommendations, quite often the client wants people from the exact same industry. I understand that, and after all the client is paying so they are entitled to get what they want.

But this struck me, how many of you have worked in a variety of industries or sectors? Is it possible to traverse our working lives across these various sectors or are we destined to only work within the same sanctum?

Our client and General Manager had worked in Banking & Finance for many years, before a stint in Consulting and then made the move to FMCG. Some may say they are very different areas, or some may say there are a lot of similarities.

No doubt there are skills he learnt in each industry that have allowed him to form into the business leader that he is today.

As many countries come out of lockdowns, improve their capability to deal with COVID, and we all attempt to go back to some form of normality, it is worth noting that the pandemic has affected certain industries more than others. Whether it be a boom in E-Commerce, or a disaster for Construction, embracing working from home or rushing to get back into the office. I think we will see more and more individuals traverse the tricky landscape of moving from one industry to another, it is inevitable.

Do you think companies are open to hiring staff from other industries?

Are we sometimes too short sighted when hiring to fail to recognise that a fresh perspective could be exactly what our department or companies need?

Food for thought.

Tom Baird – Co-Founder – Guildhall DWC LLC

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