Workers trapped in 'public or private silos'

    23 Feb 2012

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    Workers are being trapped in career silos because they don’t believe they can cross sector or industry boundaries.

    This is according to new data from the Hays Career Outlook Survey, which reveals employers are often unable to recognise the transferable skills that might help them to identify potential candidates who are capable of supporting their growth plans.  

    Over half of private sector employers (51%) say a lack of direct experience would prevent them from hiring someone from the public sector, while over a third of workers (39%) cite a lack of transferable skills as being the reason.

    Charles Logan, Director at Hays, said:

    “These findings highlight that workers believe they cannot move between sectors and that employers aren’t always able to understand or give credence to transferable skills. By over-emphasising the value of previous same-sector experience, employers could be missing out on talented people and motivated workers.”

    The survey reveals the vast majority of employers believe that previous experience in the same sector is important. Whilst only just over a third (38%) of public sector employers say previous public sector experience is important, over half (56%) of employers in the private sector deem previous private sector experience to be important in potential candidates. 15% of private sector employers say that experience in commercial work is an essential competence of any prospective candidate.

    The survey also shows the career destinations of UK workers. Around a third of private (33%) and public (35%) sector workers would prefer to continue their careers in a mix of the two sectors and not restrict their career options.

    Logan added:

    “There is also a very clear message to employees here that they too should also attempt to dismiss the tunnel vision that may be keeping them from moving to another job in a different sector, or indeed even with the same sector. Candidates need to take responsibility for showing how they might be suitable for a new role and that their skills can cross over effectively, without relying on busy employers to spot their potential.”

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