Tips for Identifying a Candidate’s Ability to Learn a New Skill

When hiring, it is easy to overlook great candidates because they do not have the required hard skills, and their ability to learn a new skill does not come through on their application. In competitive job markets, you are unlikely to find a candidate who checks all of your boxes. Hiring someone who has the right set of soft skills and can learn the necessary hard skills often translates into an excellent employee.

How do you identify a candidate’s ability to learn a new skill? It’s not always clearly stated on their resume, so we compiled a list of tips to help you!

Analyzing the Resume

A quick glance at a candidate’s resume can tell you whether or not they’ve got what it takes to learn new skills. Here are the key areas to look at.

Look at Accomplishments

Someone who is self-driven will often have a list of accomplishments to their name (depending on the age of their career). It doesn’t matter if they are in the same industry as you are hiring for. Just the fact that they have achievements indicates that they can learn new skills. Here are a few examples of accomplishments you may see on a candidate’s resume:

  • Employee of the month
  • Highest sales of the month
  • Author on a publication
  • Landing a prominent account

Previous Job Responsibilities

Instead of scanning past job titles, take a second to take a closer look at job responsibilities. This will give you insight into whether the candidate has ever been in a position that required them to think outside of the box. For example, if the candidate has worked as a customer service representative, they have had to get creative when solving customer issues. The same is true for management positions as well.

What is Their Education?

What kind of education do they have? Did they go to school for their current career, or are they self-taught? Receiving a degree for their career path is not a bad thing, but if they are self-taught, it is the ultimate indicator that they have the ability to learn a new skill.

Dive Deep in the Interview

Asking the right questions in an interview can complete the puzzle for you regarding a potential employee’s trainability.

Ask Them to Explain Their Learning Process

Everybody learns differently, and some processes are better suited to learning new skills than others. Listen closely to the resources they take advantage of. For instance, some may say the internet and textbooks, while others might rely on the help of seasoned professionals. A candidate who is unable to answer this question, most likely will not be easy to train.

Provide a Fake Scenario

Give interviewees a fake but realistic scenario and ask them what they would do? How they navigate the scenario will tell you how well they will succeed at your company and how quickly they will adapt and learn.

Ask Candidates How They Overcome Obstacles

No matter what job you are in, you will face a task you either do not know how to complete or have trouble finishing. You want a candidate who can think outside of the box and isn’t afraid to ask for help! Understanding how candidates handle adversity will tell you a lot.

Let Us Find Your Next Hire!

Finding the perfect candidate can be daunting! Fortunately, Arrow Staffing is here to help. Using our extensive database, we will find the ideal candidate to fit your personnel needs. Request an employee today!

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