When employers talk about desirable skills they look for in new hires, they usually mean things like writing, data analysis, interpersonal communication, and project management. But what about the ability to LEARN?
Iâ€™m not kidding. Letâ€™s say a twenty-something employee, weâ€™ll call her Amy, starts a new job as a sales representative at a Fortune 500 software company. She graduated from college fairly recently and has never done sales before, so her boss expects her to have lots of questions as she proceeds to develop her first client relationships. He guides her through the process patiently, explaining in detail how to communicate the productâ€™s value proposition, and how she should go about getting a meeting with a decision maker.
After all the time he spends, the boss hopes that Amy can take what he told her and apply it to her next sales situation. But the boss is taking for granted the fact that Amy has the ability to assimilate new information and that she instinctively knows how to harness it in a variety of circumstances. However, this is actually a pretty rare skill. Most people will need to hear similar instructions repeated time and time again, just because the scenario is slightly different than last time. And as you can well imagine, the managers who supervise these people have to do a lot of hand holding, which directly affects the productivity and profitability of the organization.
Unless youâ€™re bringing someone on who knows your business inside and out, you might consider testing for this skill during the hiring process. Behavioral interviews, for example, involve giving the prospective employee some background information and a set of parameters and asking him how he would approach a typical business problem. If he does well, you can rest easy that heâ€™ll be able to hit the ground running, and wonâ€™t have to depend on you for next steps at every juncture.
Alexandra Levit (Blogger, Water Cooler Wisdom)
This CollegeRecruiter.com Blogswap article is courtesy of Recruiting.com at http://www.Recruiting.com and CollegeRecruiter.com at http://www.CollegeRecruiter.com , a leading site for college students and recent graduates who are searching for internships and entry level jobs.