When you do a search for “What Employers Want” you do not see high test scores anywhere on any job descriptions. We are training our kids for the types of jobs that are not there anymore. If you look at the world now, everything is changing: business, government, banking, and education. We are in a transitional period with many of us kicking and screaming afraid to go where we have to go. The world is going to change if we like it or not.
I still hear “if it was good for me, it’s good for my kid.”
This is unbelievable! That kid is going to be living on that parent’s couch when they are in their 30’s because there will not be any jobs for them. Wait a minute! That’s happening now. Read this article “Is there a doctor in the house?”
So what are the skills employers are looking for? Skills most sought after by employers according to Randall Hansen, Ph.D and Katherine Hansen, Ph.D are:
- Communications Skills (listening, verbal, written)
- Analytical/Research Skills
- Computer/Technical Literacy
- Flexibility/Adaptability/Managing Multiple Priorities
- Interpersonal Abilities
- Leadership/Management Skills
- Multicultural Sensitivity/Awareness
No test scores here!
Kelly Services listed the same skills. Everywhere I looked the same skills.
Check out the 12 Hot buttons from Salary.com
- Results – they are less concerned with your past experience and responsibilities. What did you accomplish?
- Figures and numbers – did you increase revenue at your last job? did you underpromise and overdeliver even if you worked at a non-profit or volunteered?
- Awards and accolades – share if you have received any awards or been recognized for excellence.
- Blog or website – this shows you have good communication skills, but make sure your website looks professional.
- Staying Power – be careful of changing jobs that don’t last two years or less.
- Up-to-date skills and education – be on top of all the latest technology and innovations in your field.
- Ideas and initiative – Be ready to hit the ground running and solve problems without waiting for someone to tell you what to do.
- Attitude – be enthusiastic, flexible, and postitive.
- Leadership skills – be willing to take on more responsibility to improve a product or process.
- Growth potential – go beyond the job description.
- Creativity – ability to think outside the box and solve problems.
- Hobbies – be passionate about something outside of work.
No test scores here!
I’m still looking. If universities base their admissions on high test scores, then maybe we need to rethink higher ed. Uh oh! I’m touching on something here that could get very messy.
How do you teach creativity and passion?
Found an article on Ambition: The Fire in the Belly Employers Want by Jane Genova.
“Those hiring and promoting learned from the downturn and intense economic volatility that’s it’s no longer enough to do ‘just a job,'” says Michael Francoeur, Dale Carnegie Training instructor and executive coach. “Employers now know that what kept their business growing or even saved it were the employees who saw beyond their job description. They pushed to do whatever was needed at the time. Often their most important contribution is persistence. The ambitious stay with a project, no matter how bad things seem. That’s usually because they have the confidence to believe in themselves. The less ambitious would have become discouraged.”
I see that ambition similar to finding someone’s passion. When you are passionate about something, you fight for it. There are no punching time clocks. I’ve watched game designers work way into the night so excited about this or that. Maybe there is that passion about finding a cure for a terrible disease or a new type of transportation that is economical and safe for the environment. Maybe we need this type of passion to come up with strategies to fix our economy or climate change.
So I decided to look for top personal values employers look for in employees:
- Strong work ethics
- Dependability and responsibility
- Possessing a positive attitude
- Honesty and integrity
- Motivated to grow and learn
- Strong self-confidence
No test scores again!
I’m putting this out there to you — teachers, parents, professors, administrators, students. Maybe our whole system needs shaking up. Are we teaching these skills and values?
Students will need to graduate with these skills:
- The ability to act independently and solve problems on their own.
- Strong interpersonal written, oral, and social skills to collaborate with colleagues.
- Strong global literacy to understand people around the world.
- The ability to acquire the information they need to do the job.
- The ability to learn new skills as corporations change strategies to stay competitive.
The CEO of UPS wrote: “ We look for employees who can learn how to learn.”
So what does school like if we teach these skills and values and teach our students to learn how to learn?