As a Director at Siwel and a manager of people, one of the many things I am tasked with is staffing our SAM consulting projects with qualified people who will not only keep the customer happy, but will deliver a quality product. The team I currently have is the best of breed, but when I need to expand, the question always arises…whom do I hire? So, this can be really tricky, because the ideal person is a data nerd that loves digging into a huge data set, but is really friendly, professional and extroverted. Sounds like on oxy-moron, right?

It’s not. The key to finding the right fit is identifying candidates with specific experience, or related technical experience that would require minimal training, but also taking into account many other factors. As SAM is an industry that is not taught in your typical college classroom, you'll need to consider what kind of jobs and transferable skills will result in the unique mix required to become a successful SAM Professional. 

In recent years, I’ve been lucky. As the SAM world has grown exponentially, I am now able to hire people with specific experience that can be applied directly to our consulting projects. But, what if I am specifically looking for a junior resource that we can train and grow internally? This is where you need to get creative with your search criteria.

It may be surprising, but I didn't come out of the womb itching for a career in SAM. It’s an amazing industry to be a part of and watch evolve, but the path that led me here is interesting. I graduated from UMASS Amherst with a degree in Sociology, and minors in French and Psychology. I loved the hospitality industry and worked in every aspect of the kitchen, as well as waiting tables in both the dinner hour and nightlife. None of this sounds like it can be applied to SAM…or can it? As a waitress, I needed a high attention to detail. My income depended on my customer’s happiness. So, if one person wanted 3 ice cubes in their water…you’d better believe they had 3 ice cubes! This attention to detail and experience with customer service has helped me to excel in this industry.

Here are some of the transferable skills that I feel are most helpful when looking for the right person to hire and develop for your SAM team:

  • Attention to detail

    • Anyone who has had experience in Quality Control

    • Retail

  • Ability to dissect a problem

    • Math majors

    • Investigative backgrounds

  • Customer Service

    • Hospitality industry

  • Strong work habits such as accountability, punctuality, and dedication

    • Former Military

What are the top transferrable skills you would look for in a junior resource? What other niche industries or degrees do you look for that you’ve found helpful in growing your team? Please comment below!