Traditional requirements for jobs aren't just out of date, they may actually encourage you to hire the wrong people. Learn how to change this to make the best hire for your team.
- In the past, if you were thinking about the basic qualifications for work that needed to be done, you've probably used some traditional requirements for a job like a minimum number of years of experience, or specific degrees, or certification you think are required to perform the job. But, what if you didn't? In a time of unrelenting change, you need to think completely differently about what constitutes a minimum set of requirements for a job, which, usually in the past, are things like degrees, certification, and other traditional metrics.
It's important to understand why you think you need such credentials. If the hiring process could give you 100% certainty, you'd feel confident taking the risk to hire someone. But, let's face it. We can never be completely certain. So, what you're trying to do is to determine acceptable risks and use whatever proxies are available to you. In the past, you might have used degrees, brand name companies, on resumes, as your proxies. If the candidate went to Harvard, or worked at IBM, those are traditional proxies for certainty, but because the pace of change is so rapid in so many fields, the reliability of a particular degree or certificate, from a particular type of university, is no longer quite as useful.
It's time to unbundle job requirements. It's time to consider what new proxies you're willing to accept, and, in fact, the ones you should start looking for. Let's take two hypothetical candidates from two completely different educational backgrounds applying for a job to create programming code for consumer software products. Candidate A got a four-year degree in software engineering from a well-known college while Candidate B participated in a six-month code camp, then a six-month internship to help build and ship actual products.
Which candidate are you more likely tp wamt to learn more about? If you still chose Candidate A, maybe it's because you believe your company prefers to hire from that college, or maybe you followed a similar career path and you're more inclined to choose someone with a similar background, but it's important to think about those motivations, and to start breaking down some of the preconceptions you might have about what's really required for the problems you need to be solved. Unbundling job requirements is especially important in a rapidly changing world.
You're likely to find you're going to need help solving problems that are completely new, and for which there isn't an existing degree or certificate or other trusted education source. You'll need to start considering other ways of getting confidence in a worker's ability to solve specific problems. You're also going to need find workers to solve completely new problems which means you won't find someone with exactly the right experience. Instead, you're going to need to find candidates with the transferable skills that can be adapted from other kinds of work.
You're also going to need to look for candidates with very targeted certificates and other learning experiences tailored for very specific kinds of work. For example, the online university, Udacity, offers Nanodegrees, intensive learning programs designed to teach workers a new field in months, not years. And, Udacity promises that if a learner completes the course successfully, they're guaranteed a job or their money back. Imagine if every university offered the same guarantee. There's also a substantial movement toward badges, digital certificates that confirm someone has a specific knowledge, skill, or experience.
Badges are certified by the issuing party and they can be confirmed by former co-workers, supervisors, and maybe even customers. As a manager in disruptive times, you're not only going to become familiar with these kinds of micro-learning certifications, but also to start requesting and requiring them, because they'll help you to have greater certainty. In a world of rapid change, you're going to need to think as flexibly as possible about what you'll accept as proxies for trust and consider creative ways of determining if a candidate has the skills you need to solve tomorrow's problems.
And, you'll increasingly need to be open to candidates whose skills and experience are transferable from other work situations that might be dramatically different from the position for which you're hiring.
- Dealing with disruptive change and the new rules of work
- Establishing a new contract with workers
- Rethinking job qualifications
- Hiring for diversity and inclusion
- Identifying key skills for adaptive workers
- Helping your team become lifelong learners
- Leveraging automation for your team
- Becoming an adaptive manager
- Making human resources a partner
- Recognizing when your adaptive strategy is working