Are you focused on hiring for agile learning skills? You sure as hell should be…
Recruitment is about finding the person with the best skills and experience…or perhaps it’s not.
That’s traditionally the way it’s been done – but that approach won’t guarantee your organisation success in the future.
We are living and working in a time of unprecedented change. People and organisations need to be highly adaptable. Leaders can’t simply hire for skills – they need to hire for behaviours (and train for skills). This concept isn’t entirely new – but it’s coming more into focus.
In 2017, the World Economic Forum published the whitepaper Accelerating Workforce Reskilling for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This included a projection that around 35% of the skills required for jobs across industries will have changed by 2020.
It’s easy to see why we need to look beyond skills and experience to things like adaptability, flexibility, a customer/client/stakeholder focus, team working, and most importantly – a desire to learn and grow.
A culture of learning will be an essential ingredient in the most successful organisations of tomorrow.
That’s where agile learning comes in.
While the agile framework originated in technology, it is now applicable to many different areas, including learning and development.
Leaders and HR professionals should move away from the idea that learning happens through coursework. Learning should be embedded in every day.
Agile learning is continuous, collaborative, flexible and fast. It happens in teams, with peers and managers, informally and formally – and on platforms that can be accessed anywhere, anytime (and at your employees’ convenience). Agile learning also offers continuous feedback.
A recent Harvard Business Review article quoted Patty Woolcock from the California Strategic HR Partnership as describing the future of learning is about the three ‘justs’: Just enough, just-in-time, and just-for-me.
Some of the features of an agile learning culture include:
- Team-based and peer learning
- Technology-supported learning
- Collaboration between customers and providers to boost learning (and benefit relationships)
- Learning investment in the whole team (including freelance and contract employees)
- Learning motivated by development (not a deficiency).
The last point above highlights the importance of learning at work being about employees’ professional development (not simply fixing skills gaps). A recent Deloitte research survey found that millennial professionals value ongoing development over all other employment benefits.
A culture of learning, enabled by agile learning, includes embracing risk-taking and mistake-making as positive parts of the learning – and essential to facilitate growth and success.
In the future, continuous employability won’t be about what employees already know – it will be about their capacity to learn, adapt and grow.
The same is true for organisations. Success will depend on your ability to develop your employees’ skills AND your ability to identify and hire talent with strong agile-learning capabilities. If this is not already a central part of your talent acquisition strategies, it should be. Move fast. Don’t get left behind.
We help great leaders recruit and build great teams. Please reach out if we can assist you.