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More Workers Switching Industries while Job-Hunting

March 28, 2017

Swapping industries when on the job hunt is becoming more commonplace in this day and age. Recruiters are paying more attention to potential hires’ “transferable skills”.

More Americans are switching to different industries when on the job hunt. Changing market sectors in a tight labor market is allegedly giving workers more leverage with employers. ADP, a private payroll processor, has the ability to track employees as they move among jobs, and they have noticed a growing trend of job seekers shifting sectors....Read on...

A couple helpful statistics

About half a million U.S. workers left one job for another by the end of December last year, about a 100,000 increase from 2015. According to ADP, or Automatic Data Processing, (offers Payroll, HR Management Software and Human Capital Management Services for businesses of all sizes) a growing number of these job hunters are actually “job-switchers” meaning they completely shift sectors and/or industries while searching for a new job. More specifically, in eight of the ten major industries tracked by ADP, the number of job-switchers increased from late 2014 to late 2016, while the share of job-swappers (stay in same industry) fell.

What industries are seeing the most “job-switching”?

With some industries being affected by the tight labor market more so than others, workers in certain fields are often forced to look for different career paths. This includes:

  1. High-skilled medical, such as nurses, doctors and specialists
  2. Scientists and mathematicians
  3. Skilled trades, such as electricians, carpenters, machinists, mechanics, welders and plumbers
  4. Engineering and architecture
  5. IT computer specialists, such as IT analysts, software developers and programmers and database administrators
  6. Executives
  7. High-skilled technicians, such as health, telecommunications and environmental technicians
  8. Transportation, such as drivers
  9. Construction and extraction workers in mining
  10. Community and social service workers, such as counselors, therapists and social workers

Using skills from past job to switch to another industry

You can swap sectors with “transferable skills” as they are called. For example, restaurant professionals have a lot of transferable skills that recruiters often appreciate—including sales and customer service.

Some examples of how transferable skills have worked in job switching....

  • The healthcare industry has seen an increase of former business professionals switching to health care jobs. The strong communication skills required in business transfer quite effectively to the medical profession.
  • Banks have found that some former restaurant and retail professionals lend their expertise well in the banking profession.
  • Skills gained in advertising, marketing, PR and communications are highly valuable in the not for profit sector.

Many skills lend themselves well to other sectors—healthcare professionals have said that hiring military professionals in the healthcare field is always beneficial, given the “grace-under-pressure” state of mind that people with military backgrounds embrace. Long story short—never believe that your job history and experiences outside of the field you’re attempting to enter are irrelevant—a fresh piece of mind given your extensive experience in a different field can be largely beneficial for the sector you’re interested in.

Questions on the job search? Don’t hesitate to reach out to KLR Executive Search Group.

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