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What I’ve Learned One Year After a Career Change


It’s been about a year since I made a complete change in my career and joined the team at Beyond Recruitment. The experience, which I talked about in detail in my last blog, has really changed the way I view career trajectories and influenced my approach as a recruiter. One of the biggest things I’ve discovered is the true value of soft skills and the major impact they have on a candidate’s success in a role. In this blog, I will talk more about what this means for employers, as well as what else I have learned over the past year.

Reflecting on My Career Change One Year Later

Coming from a hospitality background and having owned a restaurant for a number of years, I was very nervous about the move to the recruitment world. As I mentioned in my last blog, it was a fortunate twist of fate that I met Beyond recruiter Sandy Eaton, who helped me to see my skills in a new light and suggested a career in recruitment. However, I was very anxious about whether I had what it takes to be successful in the role, and whether I was too far into my career to make such a major transition.

As it turns out, my trepidation was largely unfounded – I fit right into recruitment and have far exceeded my expectations for success. I didn’t realise it at the time, but it was only my own lack of confidence that was holding me back. Through the experience gained at my restaurant and my natural disposition, I already had everything I needed! Some of the transferrable skills that have benefited me most include the ability to build a good rapport with a wide variety of people, communication, problem-solving, natural empathy, a drive to achieve, customer service, multitasking, working with tight budgets and thinking outside the square.

I was hardwired for these skills, and although I still had to learn about recruitment, the commercial world and all the different roles and organisational structures, I was able to slip into the role easily as a result. It has also been great to find that, despite my initial self-doubt, I have been embraced by a supportive team and am able to complement them by bringing my own strengths into the mix. This is something that has significantly informed my approach when connecting candidates with employers and assessing the benefits that different people can bring to a role.

The Importance of Hiring for Soft Skills

In the past year, I’ve had huge success matching people to roles by encouraging them to utilise their transferrable skills. When clients come to me with temp positions, I often find that the best candidates for the job are those that have the right soft skills, personality and values, not just technical abilities.

After all, in many cases, soft skills can’t be taught – they tend to be something that people have a natural affinity for, and that are honed through a wide range of experiences and environments. For example, interpersonal skills, empathy, problem-solving and multitasking often come naturally to people in the service industry, and these abilities can be highly valuable for temp roles in other industries, such as Administration. You can always train someone on the processes and procedures involved in an Admin role, but you can’t train a good attitude!

In a candidate-short market in which great talent gets snapped up quickly, it’s beneficial for employers to widen their scope when recruiting for temp jobs and consider people with transferrable skills and plenty of potential. In my field, I’ve seen a definite shift towards a greater focus on team fit. In fact, many employers are choosing to introduce their candidates to the existing team to gauge whether they have complementary personalities and soft skills before they employ them. Ultimately, this results in a better hiring decision, enabling employers to find people that don’t merely have the right technical skills, but the total package, including all the soft skills and personal attributes they need to succeed in the business.

Final Thoughts

If there is one piece of advice I would give to the nervous, uncertain Nicci from a year ago, it would be to feel the fear and do it anyway, because you’re going to be awesome!

If you’re looking for a new temp to join your Business Support, Call Centre and Customer Services team, I can’t emphasise enough the advantages of hiring for soft skills. Get in touch with me to learn more about the great candidates I have available right now.

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