Hiring Sales Reps With Experience vs. Transferable Skills In The Construction Industry

Before hiring sales reps you should consider experience vs transferable skills


Hiring Sales Reps With Experience vs. Transferable Skills In The Construction Industry

Do you hire someone with experience or with strong transferable skills? The construction industry is a very niche industry that not everyone has direct experience in.  When thinking of hiring your next sales team member, do you only consider construction industry experience? If so, you could be missing out on some strong talent. 

What Are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills are foundational skills. These general skills will help you perform better, making you flexible and adaptable to wear many hats in many different roles. Meaning, just because you have 5 years of sales experience in the construction industry, doesn’t mean you’re always the best fit for the role.

What if the 5 year person has awful communication skills? What if they’re too stuck in their ways? Gone are the days that we only hired for the exact previous role to the exact current role. People change and evolve. Honestly, it’s better to have experience in other industries so you are more versed in different types of work and culture.

Transferable skills are the core piece to look for when hiring sales reps, these skills are arguably more important than just industry knowledge.

Top Transferable Skills for your Resume Employers look for!

7 Best Transferable Skills In The Construction Industry - What to consider when making your hire:

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are one of the most important transferable skills needed in the construction industry. You need to effectively engage and communicate with prospective clients to successfully close sales deals.

Both verbal and non-verbal communication skills with the ability to listen and understand people’s needs and requirements are essential to gain success as a sales representative in the construction industry.

2. Negotiation Skills

Negotiation skills are a must-have transferable skills in the construction industry. If you cannot negotiate your offerings then you won’t be able to win sales. As you know, winning sales is important for every sales representative so having the right negotiation skills will help you close a deal with your prospective clients.

3. A “Can Do” Attitude

As a sales rep working in the construction industry, your work mostly involves moving prospective clients through the sales process. This can be very challenging at most times if you are used to hearing “no”. You need to carry your everyday tasks with great grit in order to close deals and win more clients and projects.

4. Management Skills

Management skills are essential transferable skills. You need to manage multiple tasks and reprioritize often while working as a sales representative to meet your sales target as well as to meet monthly or quarterly business goals.

5. Relationship Building Skills

Relationship building skills are important transferable skills that allow sales reps to make long term connections with their prospective as well as old clients, giving them the opportunity to sell them the products or services to meet their client’s needs and requirements.

6. Problem-Solving Skills

Problem solving skills will help you as a sales representative to solve critical issues during everyday work. You should have the ability to figure out problems and give solutions to help your clients.

7. Teamwork Skills

Teamwork skills are one of the most important transferable skills that will help you to work as a team to achieve common business goals. You only succeed if the team succeeds. You should be a reliable team player, able to share tasks and help each other to meet sales targets.

Transferable Skills and the DOT | OBrien and Feiler Law

5 Tips On Hiring Sales Reps With Experience And Transferable Skills 

1. Write A Suitable Job Description

You need to write suitable job descriptions for hiring sales reps with the appropriate transferable skills and experience needed that will meet your specific requirements. Don’t write down “must-have industry experience”, instead maybe consider “preferred industry experience but open to transferable skills”.

2. Check For Cultural Fit

Before hiring sales reps you should check to see if they are a cultural fit that means if their personal beliefs line up with your company core policies, values and ethics. Emphasis on cultural fit over exact industry experience. If someone doesn’t mesh with your team, it doesn’t matter how much industry experience they have.

3. Check How Candidates Share Their Background

Are they able to share their background in a way that can relate to your position? Are they showing the exact skills and impact they had at their previous roles? Make sure your candidate can express how they can relate their skills to your role.

If you’re unsure of your interview process, you can consider a Fractional HR leader to ensure you have the best process in place and are making the best decision in talent.

4. Check For Transferable Skills

 Consider if any other industries are somewhat similar to yours. For instance, car sales are a pretty hard industry, meaning if someone comes from car sales, they could probably do well in construction.

Read between the lines, what is the core skill that shines through? Have they been promoted in their roles before? This shows growth and success. 

5. Don’t Go For A Quick Hire

You should not hurry your hiring process because that can lead to bad hires and a loss to your brand’s reputation. Many small businesses make the same mistakes when hiring. It is also a well known fact that replacing a worker can sometimes cost you more than their annual salary for that position.

More idea on how to hire the right sales representative for your construction company!


Before hiring sales reps you should ensure that they possess both experience and transferable skills. These are essential traits that every sales representative must possess to be successful in meeting their sales targets and business goals to ensure the long term success of your business in the construction industry. 

Understanding Your Market

The success of any startup relies heavily on understanding the market it operates in and identifying the ideal customers within that market. Understanding your customer and becoming a subject matter expert is key, especially at the formidable stages.

By having insight into potential customers, you know what problems you should be solving with your product and how to communicate in a way that appeals to them.

The market is the broader industry that you serve. The ideal customer dives deeper into who your product is the best fit to serve. It's a way to segment your customers.

You might not know who your product best serves yet, and that is okay, but it's important to hypothesize and test who is.

Make some assumptions about what would make a customer a good fit for your product and test those assumptions otherwise, use your current customer base and data to guide you.

Here are some of the key steps to understanding your market and identifying your ideal customers:

Understanding Your Market

1. Research industry trends and news: Stay updated on current and emerging trends in your industry. Search Google news, read articles and follow the right people on social media to gain insights into customer preferences and potential opportunities.

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