Publish at February 22 2023 Updated February 22 2023

Can versatility guarantee employability?

The added value of versatility.

Multi-skilled worker

Making the difference?

In an interconnected world, acquiring new skills proves to be essential, as we know that, when applying for a job, we are in competition with the whole planet. You have to make the difference, to show that you have something more than the others, which will arouse the interest of recruiters. The most interesting thing here is not only to find a job, but to keep it in spite of the many changes that the job market can experience.

So, making the difference refers to what precisely? To train, to acquire new skills, complementary or not, to have a wide range of knowledge in various and varied fields, in order to fulfill any function within an organization for example. If it is precisely this profile that employers are looking for, then you must be versatile. To be versatile by definition means "to possess several skills or abilities, who can perform several functions". Presented in this way, versatility would be an asset to guarantee employability. Therefore, what added value does it bring to an employee and/or a job seeker?

Quality: adaptability

Appreciated by recruiters, adaptability is the key to accessing and maintaining a job. By definition, it refers to "an openness to change and modify behaviors in response to new information, a changing situation or environment in order to work more effectively." In other words, being adaptable means being open to change. The organization is often forced to do so in order to ensure more efficient conduct of work practices.

In an ever-changing environment due in large part to digital and technological innovations, in which jobs disappear while others are born, tasks assigned to positions in companies are less and less strictly defined, an increasing emphasis on soft skills, supplanted by knowledge and skills (know-how), it is important to develop strategies in order to stay awake and not be forced to catch the train of change.

In this case, adaptability seems to be the solution insofar as it guarantees the non-stop functioning of the company in case of illness of a collaborator for example, it allows a better management of constraints, the ability to react quickly to an emergency and to better manage the hazards. As an example, adaptability was a great asset in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic because it was necessary to accommodate to the telework almost without notice.

All these skills, we perceive it, ensure a better productivity of the company since the work cannot stop abruptly because "the key man" does not exist in this format. Each employee can take over the function of his colleague in case of absence. In this perspective, the work environment is more serene because it is easier to anticipate the unexpected. This is only possible through the perpetual training of employees and the multiplication of various professional experiences as far as the job seeker is concerned, in order to be competitive.

This ability to guarantee professional success is not, however, the only added value that versatility offers.

Job security and employability

In the perpetual quest towards increasing their market share, companies are called upon to evolve with flexible, versatile people. Based on the life cycle of an organization, namely its development, growth and decline, which is the beginning of a new cycle marked by its restructuring in the best of cases, we understand that a strong capacity for flexibility is required with regard to job security. Indeed, the restructuring of a company is not without consequences for jobs.

In Italy in 2012, for example, corporate restructuring led to a continuous rise in the unemployment rate. Let's imagine for a moment that the dismissed people are experts in a specific field and had never considered taking training courses away from their preferred field or those complementary to it. In this case, retraining would be an option, but they would have to have other skills to do so. How can they do this if they have been doing the same task all their lives? It is conceivable, but they would have to enroll in new training, have the will to do so.

Thus, multiskilling can be seen as an ability to be proactive, the ability to anticipate possible circumstances that could lead to unemployment or in a better scenario, to a career change.

As far as job seekers are concerned, having multiple strings to one's bow is a guarantee of employability. This is all the more true since, the accumulation of transversal skills allows one to stand out, to be competitive, to make a difference. In a context where competition is fierce, the recruiter will prefer an employee with experience, open-minded to change, able to manage stress, risks and unforeseen events. In short, they are looking for the most interesting employee profile for their company. Having several strings to one's bow maximizes an individual's chances of keeping or finding a job thanks to their competitiveness.

If there is one thing admirable about multi-skilled individuals, it is their mastery of the cross-functional knowledge they have learned through training. But, these trainings would need to be geared towards the jobs of the future so that the skills they learn don't become obsolete or obsolete from the start.


Besse Capucine, Capell Noémie, "adaptability a key skill in this time of crisis," Hays, online

Bisignano Mara, 2014, "challenging, delaying, or preventing layoffs via short-time work," Labor and Employment, online

Government of Canada, 2016, "adaptability," online

Grafipolis, "4 Reasons to Develop the Versatility of Your Teams Through Training," online

Widad Camille Cherkaoui, Abderrhaman Jahmane, Nathalie Montargot, 2017, "The Impact of Perceived Organizational Change on Managerial Well-Being," Vol. 2, No. 17, Management Matters, online

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