When it comes to talent, we tend to think of hiring someone who has a specific list of skills or experience to meet our business needs of TODAY. Hiring someone based on how well his resume matches the job description is a traditional approach and not necessarily a bad thing; however, today the world of work is different. Today, we must think about the skills we need tomorrow – and the next day and the day (and years) after that.
Hiring just for today limits our ability to grow, change and adapt to the world around us. In addition, hiring based on a list of bullets on a resume or university pedigree can leave out a lot of super talented people full of potential. For any position we are trying to fill, we want to find someone who is creative, adaptable and can learn as the business, technology and the world around us grows. Therefore, we should focus on hiring talent that has a strong ability and desire for learning. But how do you assess this ability using the traditional resume and interview format? Here are a few ideas to consider:
Diversity of Experience
When reviewing a candidate’s resume, make sure to compare the places they have worked at before – Are there differences in company sizes? Roles held? Technologies utilized? Diversity in experience can be a strong signal that the person is able to learn new things and adapt to different environments and situations with ease.
As part of your interview, ask the candidate how he goes about learning new things. Better yet – ask him to describe a new skill or technology he has learned recently – probing on the challenges faced during the learning process. Listening to someone explain their learning approach can give you great insight into their learning capability.
Thirst for Learning
Does the candidate enjoy learning? Listen for the words and expressions he uses as he describes a time when he had to learn a new skill – even better, does he give you an example of a time when he chose to learn a new skill on his own? An indicator of a strong learner is their breadth of hobbies, interests and desire to try new things. These characteristics highlight a person’s willingness and excitement around learning – especially when the skill is challenging to master.
Believe it or not, some skills you learned 5-10 years ago are already outdated. And the skills you will need 5-10 years from now may not be under your belt just yet. However, when we hire for learning ability, our teams are able to learn, create and adapt in real-time – resulting in improved business agility as the world around us evolves.
Need assistance hiring the right talent for your organization’s future? Contact us or give us a call at 703-587-5615. We partner with our clients every day to ensure they have the best talent ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow. We’d love to do the same for you.