In today’s hot employment market, successful business leaders are thinking outside the box to find the best people to help their organizations grow and develop.

Their secret? A two-fold approach:

  • Reassess the skills you consider crucial to success in employees and job candidates
  • Use upskilling and training to develop technical and other teachable skill sets

 Crucial Skills

Which skills do you consider must-haves for your organization – the key qualities that your best employees have and that can’t be easily taught on the job?

Entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban looks for people who know how to critically think and assess from a global perspective. In an interview earlier this year, Cuban predicted that in ten years, “a liberal arts degree in philosophy will be worth more than a traditional programming degree.” He reasoned that artificial intelligence and automation will transform the job market so much that thinking in a big picture way and collaborating will be chief among the skills and qualities that employers look for.

Recently, a hospitality industry client of mine took the opportunity – during the hiring process – to reassess the critical skills the company seeks in job candidates. The company wanted to hire an individual with specific technical experience to join an equally skilled team. Following a successful phone screen by the team lead, a candidate was brought to California. The team liked everything about the candidate but collectively voted to pass because the person lacked a skill they thought was critically important. Then a wise person in the group said, “We can train a skill set. What we can’t do is train someone to have the truly intangible attributes that this candidate possesses, things that a technically skilled candidate may not have.” As a result, my client’s search had a happy ending.

Teachable Skills

 In our digital and service-focused economy, rapid skills transformation is becoming the rule, not the exception. The job market is changing so quickly that the skills needed to perform these jobs transform every few years, increasing pressure on employees to learn and, in some cases, transition entirely into new and emerging fields. The good news is that companies can upskill job candidates who have the crucial skills they seek but lack technical or other teachable skills.

What is Upskilling?

Businesses define upskilling as the process of teaching employees new skills – and there are a multitude of opportunities to aid people in skills transformation, including subject matter expert (SME) training led by some of your top current employees, online and blended degree programs, coding bootcamps, online microcredentials, and massive open online courses (MOOCs).

In this extremely tight job market, thinking outside the box is incredibly important. Whatever your needs are, remember to be open to seeing what’s truly important instead of settling for a technically skilled but otherwise subpar candidate.

Share your feedback:

What are the crucial skills that your team or company seeks in new hires?

Authored by: John Hawes


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