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Transferable skills checklist to hire talented workforce

Recruitment | 6 Min Read

Transferable skills checklist to hire talented workforce

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 10.3 million job openings in the U.S.A alone at the end of October 2022. It is difficult to fill these openings with competent and experienced people with the same job profile.

Organizations can hire people with transferable skills to overcome this challenge. Even though people have different skill sets, transferable skills make it possible to train and groom them to work efficiently in the required job. This means their skill sets easily improve to meet new job requirements.


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The importance of transferable skills

Transferable skills can transfer across different roles, domains, and industries. Candidates with transferable skills can perform their roles and responsibilities in various domains and industries without having a previous experience in the same.

These skills are picked up by candidates throughout their lives, during internships, college days, and different professional experiences. These skills help candidates thrive in multiple related positions, roles, or domains. Therefore, companies should start evaluating transferable skills to hire the right talent.

According to a PwC survey, Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2022, one out of five respondents stated that they are likely to switch jobs in the next 12 months. Hence, it will become difficult for companies to fill these vacant positions in time.

Recruiters should start finding people with transferable skills within or outside the organization to fill the gap. Candidates with transferable skills can tap into these opportunities, progress their careers, and help organizations fill vacant positions.


Types of transferable skills

There are different types of transferable skills, and each of these skills is essential across different roles, domains, and industries. Candidates with proficiency in these skills can become top performers, add value to organizational efficiency, and aid organizational growth.

Learn more about the transferable skills checklist that recruiters should use when hiring talent:




It is essential to clearly communicate your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

According to research published by Salesforce, nearly 86% of executives explained that ineffective communication and collaboration is one of the major causes of business failure.

Therefore, candidates with good communication skills can perform better in different roles and responsibilities. Good communication skills in listening, reading, writing, and public speaking are necessary for improved productivity, avoiding challenges, and problem-solving.

Mercer | Mettl offers a Communication Skills Assessment to evaluate candidates’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Recruiters can make better hiring decisions and onboard skilled talent through this test.

An example of communication in project management:

Proper communication Improper communication
Communicating the challenge quickly without delay Communicating the challenge last minute
Offering a valuable solution for ongoing challenges and following the plan Offering a non-achievable solution for ongoing challenges and struggling to complete it
Rewarding and recognizing the team on small and important achievements Constantly criticizing the team even after achievements
Coordinating with different teams to find solutions quickly Maintaining poor inter-team communication, causing delays in deliveries


Leadership skills are required in every area of your life, personal and professional. Recruiters need to hire people who can lead the team toward a shared goal. These professionals should inspire the team by leading by example, communicating effectively, encouraging them to give their best, fostering innovation, and driving people with different temperaments, ideas, and opinions toward a common goal.

Mercer | Mettl’s Leadership Assessment determines the leadership skills of existing employees and new candidates. Organizations can utilize a Leadership Quality Assessment to determine leaders in-house and assign them appropriate roles.

Key leadership skills to assess in candidates are:

  • How do applicants interact and communicate?
  • How do applicants approach an ongoing business challenge?
  • How well do candidates communicate with stakeholders?

These skills are intertwined with the company’s needs, which means HR managers can’t evaluate these skills based on resumes. Using the Leadership Assessment to understand candidates’ strategic thinking, motivation, problem-solving, and other skills helps in hiring the right people.


Being well-organized and disciplined is essential to carry out tasks, maintaining healthy relationships, and improving productivity. Organized employees can execute tasks within the required deadline, communicate well with colleagues and clients, and contribute toward the organization’s operational efficiency. From time management to prioritization, organized employees can apply their skills in any department.

For example, when an applicant is equipped to use the Pomodoro Technique to organize their work calendar, they bring expertise to the team. This experience helps implement an important framework for project and time management.

Key organization skills to assess in candidates are:

  • Time management
  • Prioritizing activities
  • Task delegation
  • Attention to detail


Teamwork skills help determine whether candidates have the potential to function and thrive in a team and adjust to the culture. Onboarding candidates with teamwork skills influence the spirit and output of the entire team. When every member contributes to a shared goal and possesses an attitude of cooperation, the team delivers the best results and contributes to organizational growth.

Mercer | Mettl brings behavioral assessment and psychometric tests to help recruiters determine candidates’ behavior, psyche, and teamwork skills. These tests can also identify whether the candidate will fit well into the team.

Key teamwork skills to assess in candidates are:

  • Task delegation
  • Willingness to assist the team
  • Leading by example
  • Communicating without delay
  • Managing conflict
  • Active listening

Asking open-ended questions help understand the candidate’s true potential and assess their people skills.

Problem-solving skill

Problem-solving ability and solution-oriented thinking can accelerate organizational growth as solutions to problems are quickly presented and necessary steps are taken to solve them. Employees who view problems as opportunities to define, identify, and find solutions help follow the original project plan.

Active listening, analysis, research, and decision-making skills aid candidates’ problem-solving abilities.

Mercer | Mettl’s Problem-Solving Skills Assessment helps determine candidates’ logical skill set, creativity, and analytical skills.

Key problem-solving skills to assess in candidates are:

  • Identifying challenges
  • Analyzing key causes
  • Onboarding stakeholders who can find solutions
  • Ensuring teamwork

Critical thinking

Critical thinking involves thoroughly evaluating and assessing difficult situations, drawing conclusions based on data and information, and taking appropriate actions. It is related to people’s emotional intelligence that encourages analyzing facts and drawing relevant conclusions. These skills help employees operate in critical situations, pay attention to details, and logically create connections. Therefore, critical thinkers present solutions and take action to overcome challenging situations.

Mercer | Mettl’s Critical Thinking Assessment determines candidates’ ability to solve complex problems and make decisions.

Key critical thinking skills to assess in candidates are:

  • Finding biases
  • Researching challenges
  • Identifying challenges
  • Judging relevance


Self-aware employees take necessary steps to leverage their strengths and work on their weaknesses. These professionals can regulate their emotions to react appropriately in different challenging business situations. As a result, these employees promote a healthy workplace culture.

Mercer | Mettl’s Personality Profiler Test helps identify personality traits and improve self-awareness among employees. Recruiters can gauge whether a candidate culturally fits the organization.

Key self-awareness skills to assess in candidates are:

  • Confidence
  • Adaptability
  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Mindfulness


Why are transferable skills necessary for businesses?

The talent shortage is one of the major problems faced by employers. According to statistics by Statista, nearly 83% of industries across India stated that there is a talent shortage.

HR managers don’t have time to train and develop candidates from scratch because business requirements demand the immediate filling of positions. This is why employers need candidates with transferable skills. As these candidates already possess skills they can apply in different roles, the time to train them and make them industry-ready is less.

Another reason employers are looking for candidates with transferable skills is their ability to perform competently in different roles. These candidates are valuable to organizations as they gain competence and proficiency in different roles and efficiently carry out diverse responsibilities.


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How to determine which skills to assess?

With a wide range of skill sets required in different positions, domains, and industries, deciding on skills to assess during hiring becomes challenging.

Recruiters should create precise job descriptions to fulfill any position. Based on the job description, they can determine which skills can be useful in carrying out responsibilities successfully.

For instance, if the job description states that creative skills are more important than other skills, recruiters can find candidates with creative thinking. Similarly, if the job description demands analytical skills, they can look for a candidate with an analytical mind.

Recruiters should also conduct discussions with managers and business leaders regarding the type of candidate required.

Recruiters can use Mercer | Mettl’s online assessments to identify transferable skills in potential candidates or existing employees. Mercer | Mettl has an extensive test library for different roles, positions, and domains. Recruiters can explore the library to find the most suitable and useful tests to identify candidates with transferable skills.



Along with core competencies, employees need to have transferable skills for growth. Organizations need to devise methods to identify people with transferable skills and utilize their skill sets in every possible situation. Knowing skill set requirements and leveraging online assessments help accelerate the process and improve the accuracy in identifying the right-fit and best-fit candidates with transferable skills.



Why is the demand for candidates with transferable skills increasing?

What are the benefits of possessing transferable skills for employees?

How can recruiters decide on the types of transferable skills to assess?

Originally published December 27 2022, Updated January 17 2023

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About This Topic

Employee engagement is a process by which companies undertake specific activities to interact with employees and engage them. The activities include employee development, team building, skills development, trainings etc.

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