The ability to (and love of) learning should be a crucial criterion when considering a candidate for employment. It not only helps you better understand a prospective new-hire’s motivation model (such as curiosity), but it gives you an idea of how they will handle potential challenges – whether they see them as insurmountable obstacles or opportunities for personal growth and professional development. Kelly Palmer, Chief Learning Officer at Degreed, shares her insights on dealing with the constant shift in skills needed to stay competitive.
Kelly Palmer: A lot of people will ask me what is the most important skill of the future? And there’s a lot of skills that are important. It’s hard to predict a lot of times. There’s power skills that are important. Some people call those soft skills, those skills that are uniquely human. There’s technical skills that are in high demand right now, data science or data analytics and I would also say digital literacy is really important. But those are going to change over time. So what I think is the most important thing is this idea of learning agility.
What do I mean by learning agility? It’s actually the motivation and the curiosity to continuously learn and build skills all the time. And if you are a hiring manager and you’re wondering whether somebody has learning agility, you should ask them, what did you learn last week? What did you learn last month? What did you learn last year? And get a sense of whether they’re a continuous learner. And I think you can actually help people realize that they can be more successful if they are agile learners and if they’re always thinking about lifelong learning and building skills for the entirety of their careers.
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