HR will suffer because of its refusal to acknowledge transferable skills

Like Warren Broadbent (Letters, Personnel Today, 10 April), I, too, am finding it difficult to find work in a different sector.

I was a principal HR officer for a local authority and, while I also believe my skills and experience are transferable, I have been informed on a number of occasions that employers do not feel I have the necessary experience as I have not worked in manufacturing dealing with shop-floor employees. Do these organisations think they are the only ones with difficult employees or a highly unionised, militant environment?

I defy some of these private sector HR professionals to negotiate with militant waste management operatives (dustmen to the uninitiated) or 4,000-plus employees in a works department with any number of different terms and conditions, and four different trade unions – and then not feel aggrieved that, because of ‘sector snobbery’, their skills are not considered transferable.

Lorraine Smales, chartered member of the CIPD

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