Imagine your boss walking in your office in 2004, asking you to hire for a marketing or communications role requiring experience in social media or with big data… You would likely have nodded your head or given a funny stare not really understanding what they meant. Today, anticipating needs is the new reality of the recruitment and hiring industry. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 65% of today’s grade school kids will end up at a job that hasn’t been invented yet. The phenomenon is not new. Last year, Megan Casserly put a list of “10 Jobs That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago” for Forbes. So the question is: how do we hire for skills, positions and jobs that don’t yet exist? Here is a short list of action items:
- When you hire a candidate for a given position, test the candidate’s ability to eventually learn new skills — and check if the candidate is likely to get out of her comfort zone to try new things.
- Keep informed about all the early trends that may affect your industry over the next five years, as well as critical general trends that may affect behaviors in the workplace.
- Plan continuous development for existing employees. Give them a chance to attend classes in a College nearby and eventually help them pay for their tuition!
To invest in the future of your company, invest in your people: As China Gorman asks: “Is talentism is the new capitalism.” I know there is some skepticism about this: “Maybe in 5-10 years. When HR is seen as a business function and not an overhead function. And human capital is valued on the balance sheet,” China adds.
In all cases, though, a way to be ready for tomorrow is to start now… and before human capital is actually valued on the balance sheet!
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs.