Victoria Pendleton, winner of two Olympic cycling medals, will next week take part in the Cheltenham Festival. She has been riding for a little over a year and won her first race as an amateur jockey last week. Though she has garnered some criticism for her recklessness and though victory in this race is probably beyond her, her achievements certainly testify to a strength of character and a physical competency that are as useful on a horse as they are on a bike.
Transferable skills are often overlooked by employers in the job market in favour of specific experience and particular qualifications. Previous relevant experience is of course a surefire way of knowing that a person can do a job, but it doesn't tell you if that person is particularly suited to or especially competent in that position.
The best candidate may actually be someone who has demonstrated his or her suitability in a totally different arena but who possesses all the qualities needed to shine in that role.
Companies that commit to thorough and regular training programmes in order to equip their workforce with the specific skills required for their jobs could find their investment returned with interest. Not only have they demonstrated their pledge to employee development, but they have also given themselves a much bigger lake in which to fish for the perfect candidate.