By Kevin Young
Here, Kevin Young, Managing Director of Skillsoft EMEA, outlines the seven deadly skills that organisations should look for in any future employees.
Replacing a member of staff is a costly and lengthy process. In fact it can cost as much as a year’s salary to replace an employee.* But with businesses investing serious amounts of time and money on recruitment, how can they make sure that any new recruit is going to add to the long term success of the business?
1. Killer problem solving skills
The ability to solve complex problems is the Holy Grail for HR teams searching for that perfect candidate. Employers want people who work on their own initiative and under minimal guidance: people who are proactive rather than reactive. Regardless of the size of the issue, problem solving will always rank high on the desired skill set list.
2. A master of basic IT and new media skills
In the new digital age, keeping up to date with existing and emerging technology is essential for the modern employee. New media channels provide consistent lines of communication with customers and potential customers; employees need to have a working knowledge of how platforms can be put to use. Employees unable to fully operate common Microsoft® Office applications will almost certainly affect business productivity.
3. Written communication – not quite Shakespeare, but clear, concise and professional
Text speak has seeped into mainstream communication and even found its way into the workplace. There’s nothing more unprofessional than sending an email littered with colloquial spelling and grammar. Business communication should always be kept clear, concise, professional and free from jargon. You don’t have to be Shakespeare, but an ability to easily communicate through written language is certainly a must-have.
Microsoft® PowerPoint is the modern presenting tool of choice, so knowing how to use and manipulate the programme seems an obvious skill. Modern day business is all about presenting: to clients, colleagues, or superiors. And any modern day professional cannot get by without learning, practising and improving their presentation skills.
5. There’s no I in team
Everyday business comprises interconnecting relationships that have to be cultivated and nurtured. An experienced employee will traverse the tricky nature of business relationships with consummate skill by listening to others, thinking critically and communicating analysis effectively. Projects stifled by substandard teamwork are a manager’s worst nightmare.
6. A hefty dose of business acumen
Business acumen contains many elements that make up day-to-day working life. It is important to have a solid grasp of financial processes as well as an understanding of the market conditions, and the many ways to reach prospective customers. Many employees fail to recognise wider issues that affect them and the rest of the business. Those who can make this connection and inspire colleagues to do the same should be considered ‘business savvy’. This leads us on to our seventh deadly skill…
7. The leadership skills of a Roman general
Leadership skills do not only apply to the most senior person in a company; ideally a business should be littered with those willing to lead. In times of technological, economical and sociological change businesses need to be quick to adapt and move with the times. Furthermore, the businesses in question must become adept at spotting and nurturing those internally with leadership skills. They must equip them with the tools and training to reach their leadership potential for the ultimate aim of greater productivity, innovation and success.
Crafting the perfect employee
Relevant, on-going training is absolutely vital. While nobody is perfect, any new employee should demonstrate evidence of possessing these skills. And if they do, consider yourself lucky because these could be future business leaders.
Skillsoft® Professional Advantage™, our flexible competency based learning solution for non-managerial professionals, is there to support your employee learning initiatives. Continual employee development sets a business on the road to success: close the skills gap in your workforce and see where it takes you.