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Casting For Candidates: The Untapped Value Of Universal Skills

Traditionally, filling open roles within an organization begins by looking for candidates who have held similar roles in other companies. This can be an easy way to gauge experience and qualifications in order to plug a candidate into a new position with a higher confidence level for success.

What happens when you aren’t finding talent with that past experience that fits your needs?

How do you handle it if you have a niche need that may not have a large pool of candidates with traditional experience?

There may be plenty of strong candidates out there. You may just have to think a bit differently about how to find them.

Think Macro, Not Micro

It can be easy to review a resume, or guide an interview, and look for a candidate that has 1:1 experience with the role you’re looking to fill. If you take a step back to assess what makes an employee succeed at your company in these roles, it’s likely that you’ll see some universal skills at the core.

What if instead of having experience on an exact computer program, you found someone that was adept at learning new systems in general? This is a valuable skill in getting someone up and running quickly, but can also prove doubly beneficial when your organization has to evolve down the line.

Interview prompt: Ask a candidate how they approach learning new-to-them software

Think you need someone that can sell a specific product?  Consider stepping back to look for  someone who is skilled with communication and a strong relationship driver, so they can clearly articulate product benefits and forge connections with customers.

Interview prompt: Ask a candidate for a situation when they felt they gained a relationship win under challenging circumstances.

Take a step back and reflect on those foundational qualities that are at the heart of the role; detail-oriented, independent worker, strong multi-tasker, proven customer service skills. You’ll find it helps you focus in on evaluating candidates.

Considering New Talent Pools

Your traditional recruiting pipelines may not always produce an ample candidate pool. Shake things up and think of other places candidates with the foundational skills mentioned above might be searching.  The current job market may have created a large talent pool that possesses the universal skills you can parlay into roles at your organization.  

One recent example: The hospitality industry became a valuable talent pool during the pandemic. When many in the hospitality industry found themselves out of work during the pandemic, their customer service skills were repurposed into other roles created by the pandemic, such as contact tracers and temperature checkers. By being open to this broader skill set, these crucial roles were filled more quickly.

Source Talent In New Ways

Catalyst Career Group can identify the best customer service and sales talent for your fast-hire positions. Qualified candidates can be screened and presented for you to interview based on your unique hiring needs.

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