Employee skills for the future

Assessing candidates for the top 10 skills of the future

The World Economic Forum Future of Jobs report lists 10 critical skills required to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There’s no doubt these skills are important – but how can you objectively identify whether or not candidates have these skills?

 

We outline how you can use psychometric assessments to measure these skills across your candidates.

 

1. Complex Problem Solving

 

Developed capacities used to solve novel, ill-defined problems in complex, real-world settings

 

Complex problems require the consideration of numerous factors, possibilities and implications. Research has shown that cognitive ability or aptitude assessments become even more predictive of future work performance as roles become more complex and have greater information processing requirements. The higher a person’s level of cognitive ability, the more likely it is that they are able to able to learn quickly, process information efficiently, and integrate new and old information in order to solve complex problems effectively.

 

2. Critical Thinking

 

Using logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, and approaches to problems

 

Cognitive ability is linked to the ability to process information and consider a number of elements, including the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, as well as the pros and cons of possible solutions. A person with higher levels of cognitive ability is more likely to process information effectively, and pick up new concepts more quickly, in order to integrate this into their critical thinking.

 

3. Creativity

 

The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem

 

Again, cognitive ability is an important consideration when examining creativity because, in order to come up with a creative solution, a person has to understand the unique factors related to that situation, the goal to achieve, and the scope and feasibility of different ideas.

 

As well as this, a person’s personality and behavioural preferences highlight how they prefer to approach idea generation and problem-solving. For instance, are they likely to follow tried and tested methods, or more likely to think outside the box, and be more creative? It can also indicate if the person is likely to have an intuitive, creative thinking style, or a more objective, concrete way of thinking.

 

Emotional intelligence includes the ability to understand how emotions are linked to cognitive processes and can help with performing certain tasks. For example, positive emotions such as happiness promote more creative thinking and the consideration of different possibilities and opportunities. People with higher levels of emotional intelligence are more likely to understand the emotions that promote creativity and be able to manage their emotions to shift their emotions into the desired state.

 

4. People Management

 

Motivating, developing and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job

 

Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to recognise, understand and deal effectively with emotions. Success in a people management role often depends upon both technical capacity and the ability to manage oneself and others. People who score highly on an ability-based emotional intelligence assessment can perceive, identify and manage emotions in themselves and others, which are critical skills for effective leadership.

 

In addition, a person’s behavioural preference indicates how they prefer to interact with and influence people. For instance, are they more likely to be social and outgoing, or more matter-of-fact and introverted? Someone who is more people-focused and enjoys communicating openly with others could be more effective at motivating and directing their teams. We may also consider a person’s style of approaching problems and preferences for providing direction to others.

 

5. Coordinating with Others

 

Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions

 

People with high scores in an ability-based emotional intelligence assessment are skilled at perceiving, identifying and managing emotions in themselves and others, making them more effective at recognising how someone is feeling and adapting their responses accordingly. They can also be very good at pre-empting others’ reactions and generating relevant emotions in others.

 

6. Emotional Intelligence

 

Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do

 

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to a person’s ability to accurately identify emotions in others and themselves, which means that people with higher EI are more likely to be aware of themselves and others. They can also understand the complexity of different emotions, including the transitions from one emotion to another; how different emotions can blend together; and the causes and triggers of certain emotions. These skills combined mean that people with higher EI can be more socially aware, and better at anticipating and understanding others’ responses and behaviours.

 

7. Judgment and Decision Making

 

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one

 

Cognitive ability is linked to the ability to process information and consider a number of elements, such as costs and benefits, to make a sound judgment or decision. Increasingly, these judgements and decisions are unique and novel, and therefore a person must consider all of the circumstances in order to select the appropriate action. This processing capacity is influenced by a person’s level of cognitive ability.

 

Emotional intelligence (EI) can also play a role in effective decision making, particularly if the judgment or decision will impact on people. Those with higher EI are more likely to effectively consider the implications for, and reactions of, people. They are also more likely to think clearly even when emotions are strong.

 

8. Service Orientation

 

Actively looking for ways to help people

 

Service orientation is influenced by a range of factors including motivation, values, individual behavioural preferences, and organisational culture.

 

A values assessment can help you identify people who have a strong preference for assisting and helping others, as well as measuring the degree of match between your organisation’s values and a candidate’s values.

 

A person’s behavioural or personality preferences indicate how they prefer to work with others. In this instance, it could be appropriate to look for people who take a more person-oriented approach to work and enjoy supporting others.

 

9. Negotiation

 

Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences

 

Effective negotiation requires a person to use their emotional intelligence (EI) to dynamically understand and manage how others feel, and potentially how they themselves feel, in situations when emotions can sometimes be strong. People with high EI are more likely to strategically use and manage emotions to resolve conflict and reconcile differences.

 

10. Cognitive Flexibility

 

The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

 

Cognitive ability is linked to cognitive flexibility, as it requires dynamic information processing. People with higher levels of cognitive ability are more likely to effectively distill the core elements of an issue, and understand its scope, areas of flexibility, and unique factors, in order to generate different ways of thinking.

 

In addition, a person’s personality and behavioural preferences indicate how they prefer to approach idea generation and problem-solving. For instance, is the person likely to follow tried and tested methods, or more likely to think outside the box, and be more creative? They can also indicate if the person is likely to have an intuitive, creative thinking style, or a more objective, concrete way of thinking.

 

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Top 10 employee skills