The job market has undergone significant changes since the dawn of the digital age. Young people entering industries twenty or thirty years ago were likely to stick with the same line of work, often even the same company, until retirement. Modern workers, on the other hand, skip between professions throughout their careers.
As a new generation worker moves through various industries and specialities, they acquire skill combinations as unique as their resume. This does not mean acquiring traditional training, like a degree in engineering or architecture, has become obsolete. Any qualification is still a firm platform from which to launch a career.
Career hopping does however mean companies looking to appoint new employees can adjust their hiring tactics to find individuals with very particular skill sets.
The new-age employee
With individuals having more and more non-traditional skill sets, how can companies ensure they employ the right people? After all, finding the employee with the ideal set of skills is a far more lucrative goal than employing multiple workers to only tap a fraction of their individual potential.
The answer lies with looking for the individual best suited to the position rather than focusing on a generic qualification. An engineering degree, for example, is still a valuable asset in the workplace. However, an engineer with experience in computer software development as well as production lines can have a very particular approach to mass production.
Also bear in mind the salary level a qualified engineer can demand. Does their expertise warrant the resulting expense? If the position requires a multitude of technical skills and problem solving abilities, this is certainly the case. If a technical mind-set is the most important factor, a person with different qualifications but the right experience might be better suited.
Cladding suppliers, for instance, need to bring design flair into large scale industrial structures that have to integrate with architecture. For this type of business to survive, employees must have a wider understanding of each discipline.
Finding the ideal employee fit
Employing someone who has a wide range of non-related abilities, but lacking in fundamental aptitude to get the job done will inevitably fall short. When it comes to finding the ideal person to fill a specific position, focus on advertising the specific skills the job requires rather than the qualifications an applicant should have.
When considering a potential employee with a wider range of past experience, read between the lines. Often an applicant’s CV tells a story of the type of work they are inherently good at and their ability to learn and adapt.
The secret is to match the ideal individual and their unique set of skills to a job where they will be thoroughly utilised.