Although a workforce evolution was on its way pre-pandemic, there’s no denying that Covid-19 and its aftermath spurred significant change as businesses were thrust into new opportunities that forced remote work, new protocols, and a reliance on technology like never before. Now, as companies look to restaff, reskill, and reengage their ranks, they’re also reimagining traditional roles and working arrangements and looking to accelerate through the recovery and beyond.

In fact, a McKinsey Report revealed that the pandemic amplified existing shifts in workforce demand with up to 25% more workers than previously estimated potentially needing to switch occupations.

But what does that mean for the good ol’ resume and how can worthy candidates compete when the proverbial cheese is moving faster than ever — particularly if they’re up against workers who’ve been in their new field for years or even decades?

The answer is transferable velocity: a shorter way of describing the identification of the obvious and, in many cases, potential career momentum of an individual, evidenced by rigorous self-starting, self-improvement, and understood through the lens of the whole individual.

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Evaluating and determining a candidate’s transferable velocity can help recruiters discover where an individual is headed in their career and where they could be headed. By looking past the chronology of a resume and digging into the how and why behind the candidate’s achievements, a talent professional can understand how a person approaches challenges, how they learn, and — most importantly — if they’ll be a good, productive fit.

As one recruiter friend of mine told a recent client — “What is the opportunity cost of not filling this role? This candidate may not appear perfect on paper, but here is why I believe they are a good fit. Is the risk of not filling the role greater or less than the risk of filling it with this candidate?” For hiring managers willing to look past traditional measures of qualification, there are tremendous opportunities in both reduced time-to-hire, comp expectations and the potential upside of candidate and company alike.

However, for large talent organizations who have a software system that sifts through candidates before a human ever lays eyes on them, how can hiring managers be sure they aren’t throwing out people who are highly likely to be successful in any field, but lack a credential, acronym, or other surface-level qualifier?

That’s where better technology and the human touch comes in.

Utilizing software and tools that streamline and organize the recruiting process, while not replacing a recruiter’s ability to look beyond the keywords, can help recruiters source, measure, and document the transferable skills and histories of each candidate. Trading time spent poorly on the administrative, for time spent on the truly valuable discovery of hidden talent. For the immediate job req, that fundamentally improves the chance of spotting a diamond in the rough.

To be clear, this isn’t a silver bullet, nor am I advocating that we boycott all forms of candidate matching. Candidate screening and evaluation still takes time and comes with immense challenges as lower friction can result in more conflicting applications than ever. Even trickier is the reality that changing industries or career tracks can come with “demotions” or title changes that could otherwise look like under performance or stagnation.

However, the pay-out for hiring managers able to spot underlying quality, drive and velocity is significant. When skilled recruiters match willing candidates with openminded hiring managers, supportive companies can even forge diamonds from the rough. The inherent resourcefulness needed for a candidate to have taken on a new role, learning and adapting quickly, is in valuable as we reshape the workforce post-pandemic. Building a recruiting playbook to consistently spot that kind of transferable velocity can give you a clear path to prosperity for both company and candidate.

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