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Tunnel vision traps workers and hinders growth

Employees are being trapped in career silos because they don’t believe they can cross industry boundaries, according to recruiting experts Hays. Many employers meanwhile fail to consider the transferable skills of candidates who could support their growth plans.

Updated: 01 Mar 2014

That’s one trend highlighted in the latest Hays Quarterly Report, which shows that while skills shortages remain an ongoing challenge many employers are yet to consider candidates with transferable skills.

“Skills shortages are still a factor in Hong Kong, and those employers that respond by becoming more flexible in their requirements when it comes to a candidate’s industry background and transferable skills are successfully securing top talent,” says Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.

“For example, a HR professional with experience in the FMCG industry has the technical skills necessary to perform their role in the financial services industry. That’s why we advise employers to give credence to transferable skills. By over-emphasising the value of previous same-industry experience, employers could be missing out on talented people and motivated workers.

“It is particularly concerning in industries where there is a shortage of skilled professionals and employers may need to consider candidates who have the necessary competencies but may not at first glance be the perfect match.

“This also extends to considering candidates with transferable skills and then using training to overcome any skill gaps. For example, an employer seeking a payroll candidate could consider accounts payable or data entry clerks who can be moulded into a payroll role. An employer that needs a Personal Assistant could consider strong administrators or team assistants as their transferrable skills will meet most of their requirements.

“We would advise candidates to take responsibility for showing an employer how you are suitable to the role and how your skills cross over effectively. Do not rely on busy employers to spot your potential.”

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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For further information please contact Paula Tychsen, Marketing Executive – PR & Communications of Hays, on +612 8226 9739 or

About Hays
Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. We are the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in Asia Pacific and the UK and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. We operate across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

As at 31 December 2011, Hays employed 7,988 staff operating from 247 offices in 31 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2011, Hays reported net fees of £672 million and operating profit of £114 million and placed around 60,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 190,000 people into temporary assignments. 31% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific.

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the United Kingdom and the USA.

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