As some of you may know by following these posts, once or twice a year I call around to see how my friends are doing. Most are still in the Ad business, but a few have drifted into different fields since such as pharma, manufacturing and technology.
Still, the sentiment among my humble sampling of friends is the same:
Schools are not graduating the right candidates. And we can't do any on-the-job training. We are a business, not a school.
And it really boils down to turn-key hiring.
We want to hire people who are ready to go on day one.
And I found that in 100% of cases I prefer to hire soft skills over specific industry knowledge any day.
Because industry knowledge can be taught. No matter what industry you work in. And I think it's our due diligence to teach it. Am I talking soup-to-nuts teaching here? No.
But I am talking about some training and some on the job teaching to improve the chance of staff doing well.
Because what it really comes down to, at least for me, is that these so called "soft skills" are not really soft at all. They are skills like empathy. A desire to learn. A hunger for information. A hunger to do well. Critical thinking. There is nothing soft about that.
And they are skills that once joined with specific industry teaching are the skills I find to be the most important. And most hire-able.
Nir Bashan is an executive creative director / managing director with over 18 years of advertising, entertainment and business development experience. He writes on topics covering advertising, media, creative solutions and workforce management. http://www.nirbashan.com/blog | firstname.lastname@example.org