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Are businesses tunnel-visioned when it comes to hiring?

By Kace O'Neill | |5 minute read

Acquiring skills can come about in various ways, and too often, employers hire based on a confined checklist rather than considering the other skills picked up over time.

We spoke with World Travel Protection’s general manager of security services, Rodger Cook, who explained the benefits of hiring employees with transferable skills.

“People who are hiring and looking for somebody need to think a little bit broader,” said Mr Cook.


“There’s plenty of people with a lot of different skills and experience that can be applied in the corporate world that might not be immediately obvious to those recruiting.”

Mr Cook, who served in the Australian army for 16 years, uses his service as an example of a different avenue that offered him and others a vast degree of important skills crucial in the corporate world.

“We see a broad array of different skill sets and different capabilities being employed. And a lot of my peers have moved into corporate roles,” said Mr Cook.

“They’ve got the ability to work to tight time frames, to work under stressful conditions, and to train, educate, teach others, and impart knowledge. So, all those experiences that we learned in the military have definitely made me more employable outside it, but it’s also given me good insights into working in different environments, which I use day to day.”

At face value, employers may often dismiss this kind of experience as it isn’t the “conventional way” of acquiring such skills. However, Mr Cook himself is a clear example of how different working environments and unique experiences lead to transferable skills, which can be a powerful tool for businesses as they develop and diversify their internal talent.

For employees, adjustment from the previous environment to their new one is an extremely important factor, which Mr Cook touched on.

“In the security space, which is where I work, we tend to hire from disciplined backgrounds. So, I have a mix of military, customs and policing. And they all bring a unique set of skill sets which are complementary to each other,” stated Mr Cook.

“As long as you got somebody who can adjust and you don’t take everything that you did in the military and apply it to the corporate space, at times, that would be counterintuitive, but your ability to adjust to the environment that you’re in and take those learnings with you is really what adds value.”

These transferable skills can be a proven asset to the organisation that is willing to step out of the box when it comes to hiring talent, but the talent must prioritise their ability to adapt to the new environment for this to be beneficial.

The transcript of this podcast episode was slightly edited for publishing purposes. To listen to the full conversation with Rodger Cook, click below:



The practice of actively seeking, locating, and employing people for a certain position or career in a corporation is known as recruitment.

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill is a Graduate Journalist for HR Leader. Kace studied Media Communications and Maori studies at the University of Otago, he has a passion for sports and storytelling.