There is a new trend developing in the way leaders are developed. The ideas of an “All-Star” employee who knows everything and can do everything are quickly fading. Organizations are now looking for leaders that can work in a collaborative environment, who are secure enough in themselves and can help build others up. They are looking for leaders that can influence instead of dictate, who can inspire instead of command, and who can include instead of isolate.
Companies are shifting to this corporate philosophy because it has shown to lead to increased morale, better levels of communication, deeper levels of trust, a more inclusive work culture, and ultimately more productivity and profitability. This attractive environment also gives companies and organizations access to top talent and stronger commitments in the form of longer tenure.
What use to be done after you were hired is now sought after during the interview process. Companies are looking for those who have taken initiative in their own development, especially in the area of leadership, instead of relying on the company to provide development after they are hired. 7 years ago only 15% of jobseekers took the initiative to take responsibility for their own leadership and personal development. Today, over 25% jobseekers report they have taken the initiative for their own leadership and personal development. This means that 1 in 4 people who interview have taken the initiative to develop themselves beyond traditional methods of preparation. That gives them a significant advantage over others who interview for the same job.
The main areas of development companies seek in future candidates are what is known as soft skills. In addition to the hard skills needed to perform the job, soft skills like leadership, innovation, collaboration, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, creativity, problem solving, and being able to be
flexible and adapt to dynamic work environments.
It appears millennials have caught on to this new philosophy in development. In fact, millennials will spend, at times, $300 a month in personal development from their own resources. They understand that today’s job market demands one to stand out from the rest in order to get their dream job they desire.
Today’s job market is changing rapidly. Companies have shifted from a hard skills focus to more of a soft skills focus. They look for individuals who take the initiative to invest in themselves. Those who do, make a huge statement that they are worth it. And if you are worth it to yourself, you are worth it to others!