There's a war going on. A talent war. So many companies are trying to attract the best talent to support their organisation and yet so many are still focused on hiring techniques from 20 years ago.
Yet so many businesses still focus too much attention on academic qualifications and hard skills. Being bright does not necessarily mean being smart.
I've always followed the principle to hire for attitude and teach the skill later. In my opinion, finding people that are naturally curious and have a hunger to develop their skills is far more valuable than seeking out KPI focused talent that just want to achieve their bonus plan this year.
I'm looking for innovators. Ideas people. Folks that buy into the vision and want to help it grow. This is where I believe cultures thrive. Employees clearly know and understand the values of the business but most importantly, understand how their role contributes to it. They're also given the freedom to explore, to learn, to improve.
Leaders need to recognise the impact of a learning culture on employee engagement and advocacy. It's the heart and soul of a business. Not a nice-to-have.
Eric Schmidt notes that a major pillar in Google’s recruitment strategy is to hire “learning animals,” while EY recruiters observe that “to be a standout, candidates need to demonstrate technical knowledge in their discipline, but also a passion for asking the kind of insightful questions that have the power to unlock deeper insights and innovation for our clients.”
Sadly, most organizations have yet to wake up to this reality, so they continue to pay too much attention to academic qualifications and hard skills, as if what entry-level employees had learned during university actually equipped them for today’s job market. Although learnability does boost academic performance, just because someone is job-ready when they obtain their educational credentials does not mean that they are also learning-ready.