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Professional trajectories are much less linear than in the past: it is estimated that each professional will experience 4 job changes in his or her career. To achieve this agility in internal evolution, the skills cross-functional employee profile is adaptable to several professions and several sectors. They partly guarantee their employability and are the source of increased mobility of talent.

For the company, these faculties are a response to the tensions of employment and the agility necessary to adapt the allocation of resources to strategic projects.

How to define skills ?


skills are assets that can be used in several jobs and in different sectors. They are distinguished from "skills transferable" which can also be used for several jobs, but within the same professional branch.


A Marketing Director, a Teacher and a Data Analyst each practice a different profession. And yet, all three have the ability to present synthetic information to an audience. These are therefore similar abilities that can be duplicated from one work environment to another.

Unlike technical or hard skills, which are shared by professionals in the same profession, transversal skills are most often associated with soft skills. They are personal qualities, but also concern skills acquired during a professional career.

The categories of skills

Different typologies are to be considered:

The skills interpersonal


  • Communicate with various teams in a project context
  • Demonstrate leadership to a team under construction

The intrapersonal faculties


  • Demonstrate motivation to work in a remote setting
  • Staying the course of your convictions in a hostile environment

Cognitive skills


  • Handling conceptual and numerical data at the same time
  • Anticipating psychosocial risks in your team

Digital skills


  • Validate information from various data for the management committee
  • Create and publish simple and educational content for an HR population

How many skills cross-cutting issues should be established in a repository?

We recommend establishing, if possible, 2 to 3 cross-cutting skills per trade repository.

We illustrate our answer with a client project in the Services sector.

Initial situation:

  • Company in strong external growth
  • Integration of several departments within the Group
  • Creation of a common base of qualifications for each profession
  • Avoiding the inflation of qualifications in the repository

Solution to streamline cross-cutting qualifications: 

Neobrain has reduced the number of cross-functional skills from 160 to 40 for 113 jobs. This construction, carried out in workshops, has, on the one hand, favored the appearance of new developments never encountered before. On the other hand, it has made it possible to explain the evaluation scheme and make it transparent, so as to make professional mobility more objective.


The advantages and limitations of skills for internal mobility

What are the advantages of skills ?

Encourage career development:

The skills transverse play an essential role in career development. The service economy in which we evolve requires autonomy and a sense of interaction with internal and external clients. This environment therefore encourages the development of horizontal faculties based above all on behavioral faculties.

Responding to the transformation of professions:

The search for versatility is a way to respond to the rapid evolution of the business. The HR function encourages a dedicated training plan and a culture of continuous learning. Within the framework of forward-looking job management, they are at the origin of bridges between the organization's professions. 

Improving talent management:

The skill is defined as "knowing how to act" in a specific context. The advantage of a transverse skill is that it can be expressed in several work situations. Companies build their reference systems by integrating this notion; they also consider these skills as criteria for defining their "high potentials". Unlike hard skills, which have a limited lifespan of about 2 years, this type of ability offers a lower risk of obsolescence.

What are the limits of this typology of faculties?

‍Themajor influence of the mobilization context of the skill:

Collaborative work is often seen as a skill that can be used in different situations. Whether it is a product manager designing a new feature with the R&D team, or the lawyer finding solutions with purchasing for a contract signature, both are using the same "skill". Yet the situational constraints of these two examples are very different. Consequently, the evaluation of the individual prior to his or her integration into a new environment is essential to determine their real transversality. 

Priority to the transmission of distinctive know-how:

Finally, in an environment where talent is the source of competitive advantage, the structure's primary investment must be in the development of distinctive know-how that must be passed on and transferred over time.

Investment in a demanding training program

The professional training habits of HRDs are to focus their development policy on the key assets of company performance. Here it is required to combine 2 action plans:

  • A tailor-made program that takes into account skills and level differences for specific talents.
  • A generalist approach for a broader population in order to provide cross-functional expertise to the organization.

To conclude

It is essential to define professional postures such as curiosity and flexibility to complement the distinctive skills of each profession. Internal mobility can allow a better fluidity in the transmission of skills, it must be completed by a system of documentation and knowledge management.

The high frequency of employee turnover raises two questions: