In today’s world, automation, in general, is king from opening bank accounts to delivering packages. Technology is advancing every day, allowing the completion of repeated tasks and allow time everyone to focus on more complicated, thought producing tasks.
In one area where the use of automation is ruling is in Human resources with job postings. Before, there would be an email sent to a specific person or a general HR email. Someone would open it and review each resume to see a set of candidates that piqued enough interest to have that initial phone screening. Now with systems like Workday, this process is automated.
Keyword searches and other algorithms to filter out people that don’t have the initial set of experiences they are expecting. In theory, this is a great function, depending on the role there could be a hundred resumes popping in the inbox; on the first day of posting, with this filter that could be shrunk down to a more manageable number for the hiring manager to review.
There is one problem with this; it is binary and rigid. It is there, or it is not, and that is also dependent on the individual who puts in all the right criteria needed. The one consistent rule is industry-specific: Healthcare, Banking, Insurance, etc.…
From a software QA Analyst perspective, does the industry matter? Yes, there needs to be that understanding of the market that the applications are serving, that skill can be taught. What should matter is the ability to take the information given, see if it is of high quality, create the cases needed and execute against them.
There are people out there that have gone from a gaming background to a team manager for a QA group in the banking industry or moved from banking to healthcare. What they had in common was the skill set to recognize quality and work with others to achieve it. What was also common was that the hiring manager gave them a chance. Maybe they didn’t set strict filters, or they went into the rejection folder to see out of curiosity what was there. Regardless they gave those individuals a chance.
To answer the question, are skills transferable between industries? For the most part, yes. There are some areas of work that would require specific training and understanding, yet that would be a small number.
So for those QA practitioners that are looking for a new career, change of pace, and environment, don’t be afraid to send your resume into a job posting; there could be that hiring manager that will look at everything and might be interested in talking with you. For those hiring managers, don’t be entirely reliant on the system to provide the shortlist of qualified candidates. Doing so is risking losing out on a future valuable employee.