The value of transferable skills: make that career change!

The value of transferable skills - woman speaking on phone

We spoke with Recruitment Consultant Josh Bishop on his experience of joining recruitment from a sales background - and why you shouldn't necessarily let lack of experience put you off taking a step into a new career.

Josh said:

"I've seen a lot of articles talking about 'phone anxiety' and how both the millennial and Gen Z generations seem to have a phobia of making phone calls.

While this may be true for some members of the younger generations – possibly emphasised by the COVID lockdowns and isolated learning - I’d like to think it’s an exaggeration of the truth.

As an older Gen Z-er who was thrown into the deep end making telesales calls after leaving college, I can honestly say there's nothing to be afraid of! After all, the absolute worst thing someone can say is no.

While the time spent in my sales role definitely wasn’t a career highlight in terms of wellbeing, work-life balance (or to be honest, in any way at all) I definitely learnt a lot of valuable skills. The ability to talk to just about anyone being one of them.

Talent Locker was my first step into the recruitment sector and I’m honestly so glad I made the move. I appreciate that it’s unlikely many children grow up dreaming of a career in recruitment, but it’s a solid, thriving area to work!

Many recruitment companies are open to taking on talented individuals from outside the industry, who may not have sector experience but do have the skills and drive to succeed.

So if you’re unsure of what path to take, or if you’re currently unhappy in your role, I’ve pulled together a list of transferable skills which you’ll likely already have – and how they can apply to recruitment.

Clear communication

This includes the phone skills mentioned earlier and the confidence to start up a conversation with a total stranger.

It also involves being able to build relationships from those initial conversations – keeping candidates and clients updated on what’s happening and remaining in touch with those who are unsuccessful in their application, in case another more relevant opportunity arises.

Clear and constant communication is a core part of being an effective recruiter, similarly to most office jobs. Building a relationship with a candidate is not very different to developing one with a customer or supplier – so if your current role involves a lot of talking, you’ll be in for a winner with recruitment!

Organisation and attention to detail

When you have a number of roles on the go for many different clients, making sure you’re properly organised is a must.

You’ll need to keep your eye on the ball at all times because forgetting to put up your job ads, or sending over the wrong CV could lose you a role! It also makes your job a million times harder and more time consuming if you’re constantly double checking what you need to do, or having to redo everything you’ve made mistakes on.

Luckily, with the right systems and checks in place, mistakes are easily avoided! And again, organisational skills are needed for most roles – as well as general life – so you’ll likely have your own administration methods in place already.


A lot of the ‘behind the scenes’ of recruitment involves researching ideal candidates and learning what it is each client wants from their hire.

Having a good understanding of the job spec is really useful when beginning your candidate search to make sure you’re finding the right kind of people. For many recruitment companies, Talent Locker included, the area of recruitment focused on sourcing candidates has its own specialist team called ‘resourcers’.

When I joined Talent Locker this was one of the first areas I was trained up in. I found that sourcing and qualifying candidates from LinkedIn and various job boards was a great introduction to the role. It made me realise how important it is to have a good understanding of what each client needs in terms of role, skills, and personal attributes. There’s much less time wasted that way!

Resourcing is a much less client focused area of the business and it involves a lot more time spent sifting through CVs and profiles – but nothing beats the satisfaction of finding that hidden gem of a candidate!

So, if you’re interested in recruitment, but would prefer a less ‘salesy’ role, this might be the area for you.

An unbreakable spirit

Just kidding.

But seriously, it’s not all fun and games – especially when a candidate pulls out at the last minute, or another recruitment firm beats you to the punch.

That’s life though! I think you’d be hard placed to find a role that’s all sunshine and rainbows. Anyway, when you’re with the right team, who have your back and are there to support you through the lows - you’ll be sure to get that win next time.

I hope you’ve found these insights useful and that I’ve maybe shed a little light into what it really takes to be a recruiter.

A strong skill set will get you most places in life, so don’t be afraid to send in that application. You never know what could happen and the worst they can say is no!

As a side note, Talent Locker is currently hiring, so get in touch if you’d like to work for our fun-loving recruitment family.

You can book in some time to speak with our Operations Manager Kay Fadden here, to discuss our current openings and send over your CV."



Josh Bishop, Delivery Consultant Microsoft Dynamics