Why Upskilling is Crucial for Hybrid Teams Talentoday

Why Upskilling is Crucial for Hybrid Teams

Why Upskilling is Crucial for Hybrid Teams Talentoday

There were a lot of things I didn’t know I could do before COVID-19 upended the way we live and work. For example, I already knew my way around the kitchen, but I had no idea I could make tasty banana bread! I also learned how to cook a spicy jambalaya, brew my own beer and, when I wasn’t eating or drinking, I figured out how to use a 35mm film camera to expand upon my interest in photography. In my home life, I would call these achievements “little victories.” Little did I know that, were I to do the same sort of expanding of my talents in the workplace, it would be known as “upskilling.” 

Upskilling is the process of using training and education to deepen an employees’ abilities within their area of expertise. This is slightly different from reskilling, which is when an employee is trained on an entirely new skill set in order to move into a different role. Instead, upskilling is all about building upon an employee’s existing skills in hopes of enhancing their impact on an organization.

While my personal upskilling may not have major implications for the workplace (even if some morning meetings are greatly improved by the addition of banana bread), upskilling has the potential to reshape the way organizations recruit and develop talent – especially as teams embrace hybrid work models. 

The Skills Gap Continues to Expand

As the modern workplace undergoes unprecedented changes, existing skills gaps across all industries are widening. While employees may have entered into the workforce with skills that were in high demand at the time, the rate of digital transformation has increased sharply in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many of these employees behind. According to McKinsey & Company, 87 percent of companies say they have skills gaps or expect to within a few years. Jobs are changing fast, and employers and employees are struggling to keep up. 

There are a few options at organizations’ disposal for dealing with these gaps in needed competencies. In less competitive hiring markets, one appealing course of action would be to bring in new talent to fit the needs. However, today’s recruiting landscape is characterized by a dwindling supply of talent and an aggressive influx of demand from employers. These conditions have forced many employers to look inwards when determining how to address their skills gaps in the years ahead. 

Employees are Looking for a Change

To exacerbate the problem even further, this expanding skills gap comes at a time when workers are beginning to quit jobs at extraordinary levels. In April 2021, the number of employees leaving their companies spiked to approximately 4 million according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), leading many to refer to the phenomenon as, “The Great Resignation.”

In truth, does anyone ever really want to be forced to find a new job? In the same way that employers would rather retain talent than search for replacements, employees are hoping for reasons to stay at their current organizations before making a drastic move. Take the results of a recent PwC survey into consideration. Their findings show that the majority of workers are open to change, citing that 40 percent of respondents successfully improved their digital skills during the pandemic and over 90 percent of those who adapted to remote work would prefer to continue working in this style of environment. On top of that, 77 percent of workers are ready to learn new skills. 

The issue is not a lack of willingness to learn on the side of employees but, rather, the lack of opportunities for upskilling offered by employers. However, if organizations are serious about closing their skills gap and retaining employees in the face of an explosion of resignations, it’s time to make learning and development programs a real priority. 

Make Upskilling a Priority 

While employers seem to recognize the problem they face, there remains a gap between this recognition and an understanding of how to address the underlying causes. According to a 2021 survey conducted by Gartner, 68 percent of HR leaders cited building critical skills as a top priority. However, more than 30 percent of the same leaders say that they don’t know what skills gap their employees have, how to effectively integrate learning into employee workflows or can’t create skill development solutions fast enough to meet evolving skill needs. In short, employers know there are skills gaps to address, but are uncertain where they lie or how to fix them.

The way forward is two-pronged, based first on assessment then solidified with commitment: 

  • Assessment: First and foremost, organizations need to utilize tools to empower them to better evaluate their candidates and employees. Knowing the current capabilities of a team is important, but identifying the potential for growth can be critical. While necessary technical skills can be assessed through traditional means, such as verifying education and certification backgrounds, this must be coupled with a deeper understanding of soft skills. Scientifically-based soft skills assessments can provide insight into an individual’s capacity to upskill into a role over time. 
  • Commitment: Once the workforce has been properly assessed, organizations must then approach upskilling differently than standard onboarding and other job-specific training opportunities. Instead, upskilling opportunities must be treated like the valuable benefits they are. As noted in Fast Company, “For the top tier of talent, upskilling is emerging as a must-have employee benefit, like a retirement saving plan, employer subsidized health care, or paid time off.” In other words, these education programs cannot be haphazardly inserted into existing workflows. Rather, time and space must be set aside for employees to truly feel as though upskilling is a top priority. 

As the way we work continues to change, teams are struggling to keep up. However, by devoting time and effort to upskilling programs, there are win-win solutions available for employers and employees alike. 

Are you ready to evaluate your team’s soft skills to determine upskilling opportunities? Discover the powerful science of people analytics that drives MyPrint by clicking here.


How Culture Add Goes Beyond Culture Fit to Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Talentoday

How Culture Add Goes Beyond Culture Fit to Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace

For years now, organizations have been stressing the importance of using company culture to drive recruitment and team management efforts. The theory being that hiring individuals that align with the elements that make up a company’s culture - like preferred work environment, company mission, leadership style, values, ethics, expectations and goals - will lead to a happier, more productive workforce.

It’s why most HR professionals have seen (or have had a hand in crafting) recruiting pitches like these:

“Be a part of a fast-paced team!”

“Join our values-driven organization!”

“Are you looking to work in a collaborative and creative environment? Apply now!”

While these culture-driven hiring efforts may be well meaning, there’s growing research indicating that making decisions based on “culture fit” alone may be missing a bigger point. Instead, the real key to unlocking a productive and diverse workforce may be what’s known as “culture add.” 

What is Culture Fit? 

To begin, hiring professionals need to assess how the industry has been operating in order to determine the best path forward. When culture fit first gained momentum in offices, the idea seemed both groundbreaking and simple. Instead of only relying on hard skills and job description qualifications when determining the best possible fit for a role, HR teams decided to go further. Now, how people go about their work was just as important as what they were doing. Since the style and approach required for being successful at one organization may not transfer to another, culture fit aims to assess whether a candidate’s attitude, motivation and values are aligned with the culture.

Where Does Culture Fit Fall Short?

Unfortunately, hiring for culture fit does not always add up to the ideal workforce its proponents claim to deliver. While the attention this methodology brought to historically under-evaluated areas of candidate profiles, such as personality, motivations and behaviors, was an improvement, it also led many hiring managers into a dangerous trap known as affinity bias. According to LinkedIn, “Affinity bias is the tendency to have a preference to people like ourselves. In hiring, affinity bias can mean leaning toward one candidate over another because they have a relatable background, belief, or appearance.” In other words, while organizations may have thought they were hiring the best candidates for the job thanks to how well they “fit” into a culture, they may have unknowingly been building a homogenous workforce lacking in true diversity. This same research goes on to note that inclusive companies are nearly two times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market, and these same companies outperform industry norms by an average of 35 percent.

Clearly, while hiring for culture fit can have its benefits, companies that do so may be leaving countless amazing hires behind due to rigid match criteria. 

How is Culture Add Different? 

Today, the practice of hiring for culture add aims to improve where culture fit strategies fall short. As a recent article in Fast Company puts it,” Assessing for culture fit can unintentionally encourage managers to pick candidates that look like everyone else. But looking for culture add helps managers to determine how a candidate’s individuality and differences can make a company better and stronger.” Rather than stifling the things that make a candidate unique, culture add aims to find ways to embrace that individuality within the existing framework of a company’s culture. 

In truth, getting to this point can be challenging - especially for larger organizations with deeply ingrained cultures and hiring processes. Culture change takes time, and there needs to be top-to-bottom buy-in to ensure everyone moves in the right direction to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion at scale. LaFawn Davis, Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Indeed.com, offers these best practices for companies looking to move towards culture add-based hiring:

  • Empower recruiters to push back. When culture fit is given as the reason to decline an offer, recruiters should be able to ask follow-up questions to ensure this reasoning is not being used as an excuse to make decisions based on bias or emotion.
  • Ask for more details. Sparking a deeper conversation about a hiring manager’s desired attributes and skills, and how the candidate may meet or miss these marks, could be another way to get beyond a cultural fit impasse.
  • Use rubric-based scoring. Go beyond gut-feeling! Having a reliable scoring system can point to where candidates may have fallen short or, if the hiring manager can’t point to something specific, give the recruiter a reason for challenging biased thinking. 

As organizations continue to recognize the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in all industries and workplace settings, the concept of culture fit may be coming to an end. Instead of only hiring those who can fit themselves into a tidy box of strictly defined cultural norms, it’s time for human resource professionals to tap into the power of embracing what makes each of us truly unique. 

After all, where’s the fun in just fitting in anyway? 

Are you ready to build a diverse workforce through the power of science-driven people analytics? Discover the science behind MyPrint by clicking here.


Case Study: Medix

The Challenge:

With a higher than desired turnover rate for new employees in the first 90 days, Medix turned to Talentoday to determine how to better use soft skills data to reduce turnover rates.

The Solution

With HR working as a strategic business partner, Medix was able to empower managers and their direct reports to have enhanced collaboration with soft-skills data. Medix’s HR team implemented proactive collaboration sessions between managers and new hires based on Talentoday’s Collaboration Report, a 1:1 report designed to compare two individuals’ similarities and differences. The report provides guidance on how they can work better together better based on their unique MyPrint results. By implementing these sessions as proactive and voluntary, the buy-in is high among internal employees.

With HR acting as the facilitator, the manager and new hire are able to use the report to talk through examples that can help motivate them, and what discourages them, empowering engagement to work together towards business goals.

The Result

As a result, Medix saw a significant increase in employees staying with the organization past the first 90 days of employment. In fact, the organization experienced a 68.9 percent decrease in new hire turnover!

About the Client

Medix, a US-based staffing organization, has been pioneering staffing and digital services over the past twenty years. Being a purpose-led organization, Medix is guided by their core purpose to positively impact lives. In putting people at the heart of what they do, they take an innovative position as both an employer and staffing provider of choice by leveraging soft-skills insights as part of their holistic employee, talent, and client experience.

Since 2018, Medix has been leveraging Talentoday’s soft-skills assessment, MyPrint, and its personality, motivation and behavioral insights as part of their service offering to both talent and clients. Additionally, Medix designated an internal HR representative to champion MyPrint initiatives and infuse people analytics even further into Medix’s employee culture.

Ready to start your transformative Talentoday success story? Click here to book a demo and experience how our people analytics are transforming how organizations hire, manage, develop and retain talent.


Behaviors Uncovered: Decision Making, Rule Consciousness, Risk Orientation and Change Reaction

So far, our Behaviors Uncovered series has explored seven total areas of observable actions made by individuals in conjunction with their work environment. Part one focused on Leadership Style, Communication Style, Conflict Management and Team Contribution. In part two, we highlighted Creativity, Work and Learning Styles; these are the behavior patterns that shape the ways individuals expand their knowledge base and work together to invent in the workplace. In this third and final entry in our series, the ways in which individuals relate to organizational structure and make choices take center stage. It’s time to uncover the science behind Decision Making, Rule Consciousness, Risk Orientation and Change Reaction.

As with the first two entries in this series, key information in the following descriptions is drawn from the Talentoday MyPrint® questionnaire. The behavioral dimensions found within the assessment are displayed as score matrices resulting from the combination of personality and motivational results. In short, our behavioral styles are predicted based on the scores (high or low) that an individual has obtained on these two dimensions crossed together. Think of these analytical grids as a way to gain a deeper understanding of why an individual prefers and maintains a particular pattern of actions.

Decision Making

When you start adding up the total number of decisions we make in the workplace on a daily basis, the results can be truly staggering. From soft balls like, “Hot coffee or iced coffee?” to everyday preferences like, “Does this request warrant a meeting or will an email suffice?” employees are constantly faced with choices to make. Eventually, some of these decisions can have a major impact on an organization. Having an idea of how an individual might go about this process can be key when building the right team for your goals.

Decision Making can be described as the set of processes, either intuitive or reasoned, by which an individual ends up choosing between two or more courses of action.

There are four ways individuals can approach decision making, derived from the “Perspective” dimension of personality and the “Need for Autonomy” dimension of motivation:

  • Analytical (Big Picture, Need for Support): Individuals who are Analytical decision makers tend to consider multiple points of view in order to frame a situation very broadly.
  • Strategic (Big Picture, Need for Self-Reliance): Individuals who are Strategic decision makers rely on their own assessment of a great deal of information to build solutions that stand the test of time.
  • Deliberate (Focused, Need for Support): Individuals who are Deliberate decision makers consider just enough input from others to make a plan, but are ready to quickly adapt to the situation if need be
  • Efficient (Focused, Need for Self-Reliance): Individuals who are Efficient decision makers value efficiency. They make up their minds quickly and move on to the next decision.

Rule Consciousness

How does your team approach structure? Any leader that has attempted to manage each employee with the same meeting schedule, expectations and firmness knows that, when it comes to workplace rules, it’s never truly one-size fits all. Rule Consciousness can be summarized as the way an individual interprets, judges and reacts to the organizational rules in place.

There are four behavior types when it comes to rule consciousness, derived from the “Critical Thinking” dimension of personality and the “Need for Belonging” dimension of motivation:

  • Challenger (Critical-Thinker, Need for Freewill): Individuals who are Rule Challengers evaluate the rules and norms that are in place with great objectivity, and might choose their own way of doing things.
  • Follower (Critical-Thinker, Need for Affiliation): Individuals who are Rule Followers go along with the rules, as it is a way for them to feel connected to others.
  • Adjuster (Conventional-Thinker, Need for Freewill): Individuals who are Rule Adjusters are likely to try to bend the rules they strongly disagree with, or adjust them to their advantage.
  • Advocate (Conventional-Thinker, Need for Affiliation): Individuals who are Rule Advocates show a strong respect for authority, and promote the existing rules or norms of any organization they belong to.

Risk Orientation

The decision to take a leap of faith in the workplace can be a stressful one for many employees. This takes rook in the ways that employees approach risk. Risk Orientation can be described as the way an individual invests energy in response to perception of significant uncertainty, namely in seeing either the opportunities or the obstacles. In some cases, a career defined by taking bold action can be beneficial. In other situations, a more conservative approach may be more warranted. Determining the outlooks held by members of a given team can help managers better chart the direction and pace the organization should be taking in order to maintain team confidence.

There are four ways an individual can approach risk, derived from the “Optimism” dimension of personality and the “Need for Excitement” dimension of motivation:

  • Risk-neutral (Positive, Need for Safety): Individuals who are Risk-neutral strive to minimize their uncertainty by searching for the most rational solution.
  • Risk-taker (Positive, Need for Adventure): Individuals who are Risk-takers expect positive outcomes from risky opportunities, making them typically go for them in order to maximize the gains.
  • Risk-averse (Apprehensive, Need for Safety): Individuals who are Risk-averse focus on negative outcomes in risky opportunities, which typically makes them avoid them and choose safe alternatives.
  • Risk-tolerant (Apprehensive, Need for Adventure): Individuals who are Risk-tolerant are open to deal with risky situations as long as they can determine solutions that reduce their potential losses.

Change Reaction

Change Reaction can be described as the typical response of an individual to the unexpected events or situations arising in their environment of work. Considering that a recent survey of half a million U.S. employees discovered that almost one-third of them do not understand why organizational changes are happening at any given time, it’s clear that employers need to do better when implementing change. One way to get there is by better anticipating the ways in which individuals might react when confronted with the news of adjustments to the workplace and processes.

Change reaction can be broken down into four possible patterns, derived from the “Grit” dimension of personality and the “Need for Variety” dimension of motivation:

  • Conservative (Determined, Need for Consistency): Individuals who are Conservative in their reaction to change need to be convinced of the necessity of changes prior to overcoming them.
  • Resilient (Determined, Need for Diversity): Individuals who are Resilient in their reaction to change tend to recover from changes by finding new ways of reaching their initial goals.
  • Adaptable (Opportunistic, Need for Consistency): Individuals who are Adaptable in their reaction to change quickly adapt to changes occurring in processes, since they may represent an opportunity to adjust their goals.
  • Promoter (Opportunistic, Need for Diversity): Individuals who are Promoters of change enjoy celebrating new events, and they typically welcome

If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that workplaces of all kinds need to be ready to tackle tough decisions and major transformations at any given moment. To navigate these fluctuations with skill, it pays for employers to have a deep understanding of the ways in which the individuals on their team approach the decision making process, rule consciousness, risk orientation and react when confronted with change.

When taken together with the personality and motivation dimensions of the MyPrint assessment, uncovering the behaviors of the individuals on your team can help you unlock the true potential hiding just under the surface.

Interested in uncovering more about how behavior profiles can help you understand how someone will act in a professional setting? Discover the science behind MyPrint by clicking here.


Race to Reshape Your Dream Team

As organizations anticipate post-pandemic life, business leaders are assessing their talent management challenges, looking to (re-)build a dream team and optimize performance. Companies are competing to hire top talent.

The workplace terrain has changed, and employers need to navigate the new normal of virtual work. Do you have who and what you need for your organization to be successful?

Talentoday offers insight into what to consider when building and shaping your team

  • Use our checklist to shape your dream team.
  • Get our coach’s guide on characteristics and traits to look for when hiring new employees in a remote work environment.
  • Gain insight into how soft skills can help in hiring and motivating your team.
  • Learn what traits support innovation, strategic thinking and problem solving.
  • Find tips on cultivating an inclusive culture.

Click here to download our new infographic today!


Behaviors Uncovered: Creativity, Work and Learning Styles

In the first entry in our Behaviors Uncovered series, we investigated four key dimensions for employers focusing on better understanding group dynamics within their teams: Leadership Style, Communication Style, Conflict Management and Team Contribution. In part two, our attention turns to the behavior patterns that shape the ways individuals expand their knowledge base and work together to invent in the workplace: Creativity, Work and Learning Styles.

As a recap, behaviors represent the ranges of observable actions made by individuals in conjunction with their environment. The Talentoday MyPrint® questionnaire provides 11 behavioral dimensions displayed as score matrices resulting from the combination of personality and motivations dimensions of the assessment. Therefore, our behavioral styles are predicted based on the scores (high or low) that an individual has obtained on these two dimensions crossed together. In short, these analytical grids give insights for understanding why an individual tends to foster a particular pattern of actions and how they maintain it.

Creativity Style

Time and time again, creativity is cited as the skill most sought after by employers. After the ways we work were upended due to COVID-19, is it any wonder that companies are looking for ways to boost their knack for finding novel solutions to problems?

How, exactly, you define creativity is key when uncovering the science behind the behaviors in this area. Creativity Style can be described as the set of processes that an individual takes to produce something that is new and somehow valuable, whether it is intangible or concrete.

There are four styles of creativity, derived from the “Abstract Thinking” dimension of personality and the “Need for Reward” dimension of motivation:

  • Visionary (Imaginative, Need to Contribute to Society): Individuals who have a Visionary creativity style are imaginative and aim for groundbreaking changes that will contribute to the improvement and betterment of others.
  • Innovative (Imaginative, Need for Tangible Benefits): Individuals who have an Innovate creativity style like to think outside of the box, and aim to develop new and profitable processes or technologies.
  • Functional (Practical, Need to Contribute to Society): Individuals who have a Functional creativity style are realistic, and their creative actions might take place in everyday activities, such as by using existing tools or methods in new and original ways.
  • Interpretive (Practical, Need for Tangible Benefits): Individuals who have an Interpretive creativity style are typically looking for quick solutions, and usually come up with more advanced and profitable interpretations of existing techniques or devices.

Work Style

Whether a job requires multiple simple tasks or challenging projects will strongly influence the type of person that you want to work in certain roles. By taking the time to learn about what work style a person uses, you can help to assign roles on certain projects or keep it in mind when hiring for different roles. Work Style refers to the way in which an individual tackles their tasks and projects, as well as the pace at which they complete them.

There are four styles of communication, derived from the combination of the “Thoroughness” dimension of personality and the “Need for Challenge” dimension of motivation:

  • Rigorous (Precise, Need for Attainable Goals): Individuals who have a Rigorous work style are thorough and task-oriented, and ensure high quality and error free work.
  • Dedicated (Precise, Need for Personal Achievement): Individuals who have a Dedicated work style like to work on challenging projects and provide high quality work.
  • Steady (Easy-Going, Need for Attainable Goals): Individuals who have a Steady work style value realistic goals and deadlines, and favor consistent productivity by focusing on bottom-line results.
  • Responsive (Easy-Going, Need for Personal Achievement): Individuals who have a Responsive work style like challenging goals, and favor multi-tasking in order to do a higher quantity of work in a shorter amount of time.

Learning Style

It’s clear that uncovering the science behind behaviors in areas like learning style will play an integral role in the future of work. In fact, recent reporting indicates that companies are transitioning from hiring based on existing education to focus on skills-based hiring. For this expansion of upskilling efforts to work, employers must first learn how to tap into an individual’s preferred learning style

For our purposes, Learning Style can be summarized as the set of processes that an individual uses to acquire or develop skills or knowledge..

There are four styles of communication, derived from the combination of the “Structure” dimension of personality and the “Need for Recognition” dimension of motivation:

  • Studious (Orderly, Need for Intrinsic Enjoyment): Individuals who are Studious learners like to learn things that they find interesting, and prefer learning through methods that allow time to reflect and go at their own pace, such as reading books or articles.
  • Sequential (Orderly, Need for External Acknowledgment): Individuals who are Sequential learners are structured and learn best in a lesson format, with clear goals and positive feedback validating their progress.
  • Conceptual (Spontaneous, Need for Intrinsic Enjoyment): Individuals who are Conceptual learners like to learn things for fun and do not need structure, but rather will feel like they’ve mastered a topic once they know its full context.
  • Experimental (Spontaneous, Need for External Acknowledgment): Individuals who are Experimental learners tend to be intuitive and learn best through group interactions, where they seek positive feedback while testing their new knowledge or skills on others.

As the workplace evolves, employers are putting higher premiums on hiring individuals with the capacity to grow and find new ways to solve problems in their given roles. Understanding the behaviors behind creativity, work and learning styles is an important first step towards building an adaptable team ready to take on the future of work.

In the final entry of our three-part Behaviors Uncovered series, we investigate four areas of behavior that get to the heart of the ways individuals calculate their responses to high pressure situations — Rule Consciousness, Decision Making, Risk Orientation and Change Reaction.

Interested in uncovering more about how behavior profiles can help you understand how someone will act in a professional setting? Discover the science behind MyPrint by clicking here.


Soft Skills Interview in 4 Easy Steps

How to Conduct a Soft Skills Interview in 4 Easy Steps

Soft Skills Interview in 4 Easy Steps

If you have been following our blog then you know how important we think soft skills are to incorporate into your daily work lives.

“Hard skills will get you the job, but soft skills will make you successful.” -Me, at least 3 times per week

However, sometimes this can seem overwhelming. Where should you, as a manager, start? In this blog article we will take a step-by-step look at how to use soft skills from the very beginning of the employee lifecycle: the interview process.

Step 1: The Job Requirements

At first glance, you might think you know what goes into a position. Maybe you have been hiring for this position for quite some time, or you have worked with individuals in this role before. Although you might think you know all of the important requirements for a role, it is still important to take the proper steps to evaluate a job description in order to make a more informed decision on what the role entails.

Once you have determined what hard skills and qualifications are necessary for a position, it is time to determine what soft skills will help someone be successful in this role. There are many ways to find this information. Here are a few of the common ones:

How to determine necessary soft skills for a position

It is very important that you are using a scientifically reliable and valid method to assess your teams’ soft skills. For the purpose of this article, we recommend using the MyPrint® assessment to assess your current workforce and using some of our tools available through Talentoday Manager to determine what to look for during the interview process.

An important note here: although you are looking for commonalities among your top performers, that does not mean that you want a cookie cutter of those individuals. One of the most important things for a team’s success is having diversity among group members to help fill in skills gaps and increase creativity and innovation¹.

Step 2: Preparation

Now that you have determined what the important soft skills are for the position, you need to prepare for the interview. Having a set interview process helps to ensure that you are making more informed decisions for your company and not using personal judgments or unconscious biases when hiring. Topgrading² is one example of an interview methodology that is intended to help identify top talent, and incorporating soft skills into this methodology is seamless.

Prior to the interview starting, you will also want your candidates to complete a MyPrint® assessment (check that their results are from the past 6 months to ensure accuracy). Make sure that the hiring manager and anyone involved in the interview process have taken the time to review the candidate’s MyPrint® One Pager (soft skills summary) and are familiar with the soft skills that have been determined important for the role.

To prepare for the soft skills portion of the interview, we recommend that you have the Premium Report version of the candidate’s results handy and review their top 3 personality strengths, motivators, and behaviors (as shown on the One Pager report). Then ask yourself the following questions:

Questions to ask yourself about a candidates' MyPrint

Lastly, take a look at the candidate’s behaviors. The MyPrint® Premium Report has two interview questions tailored to each behavioral style to help gain a better understanding of how that individual showcases those styles. Make a note of any behaviors that you would like to dig deeper on, and have those interview questions ready to go!

Step 3: Conducting the Interview

When conducting a soft skills interview, it is important to stay open minded. If someone’s top three MyPrint® traits aren’t the exact three that you are looking for that does not mean they are not going to be a good candidate. Instead, look at their Premium Report to see where they fall on the scale for each of those traits. Take the time to ask questions around those topics, and make sure that you are being clear about the role expectations and see if that matches what they are looking for.

Step 4: Scoring the Interview

Once the interview is completed and the candidate has left, it is not time to make a decision quite yet! Take the time to review your interview notes and apply some quantitative metrics to what you were looking at.

Questions to ask yourself while scoring an interview

To ensure fairness between candidates, use a standardized method of scoring the interviews. Grading methods can include ranking responses or finding the difference between ideal scores and actual scores in their MyPrint® scales.

To Sum It All Up…

Using soft skills in the interview process can help you make more informed hiring decisions, and help you find candidates who will be more successful in their role. The interview process is an investment for everyone involved, so it is not something that should be done without careful evaluation and purpose.

Remember to be open-minded when it comes to soft skills; you won’t have all of the answers right away. As you gather more information over time you will learn more about what personality traits, motivations, and behavioral styles can be attributed to success in a role and sometimes, what you find might surprise you!

Want more information about soft skill interviewing, or to receive a copy of our template? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!

Sources

¹https://www.managers.org.uk/knowledge-and-insights/listicle/the-five-business-benefits-of-a-diverse-team/
²https://topgrading.com/


Are You Missing the Hard Data on Soft Skills?

More companies are looking at Big Data to boost their bottom line. In the world of work, they are turning to people analytics to provide predictive insights that save time and money, while bringing out the best in their employees. This information can help organizations envision and realize the full potential of their people.

Learn what people analytics truly means and how to use it to enhance your organization’s growth. A better understanding of the data on soft skills and how it fits into your overall analytics picture can help you align your organization’s goals, values, people and purpose. It can guide recruitment in finding the right talent to best fit a team and overall organization. Understand the importance of soft skills at every phase of the employee lifecycle:

  • RECRUITMENT
  • HIRING
  • ONBOARDING
  • PERFORMANCE
  • DEVELOPMENT + TRAINING

Discover how people analytics can help you optimize performance and boost profit, while helping you envision and realize your team’s full potential. Learn ways to enhance your organization’s growth with insights that help you predict and plan. Download our eBook.


Build Your Team Using Soft Skills

In the pandemic-impacted spring of 2020, puzzle sales were up 300% from the year prior¹. I have to admit that I contributed more than my share to that increase in sales; you can only watch so much Netflix before you need to find a new in-home activity!
What I’m trying to say is that I spent a lot of time in front of puzzles this year and I’ve learned one valuable lesson: teams are a lot like puzzles. That is our metaphor for today.

We don’t always know what our missing pieces will look like

When you are looking for the perfect piece for your puzzle you might have the exact picture of what you are looking for in your head. You know what the surrounding pieces look like (what their strengths are) and you just need to find the piece that looks like those ones. The problem with putting too many constraints on what we want is that oftentimes as human beings we’re wrong. Although there might be certain characteristics that we know we need for a position, that doesn’t mean that we know all of the important aspects.

When interviewing candidates, it might seem like we know exactly what soft skills are needed for success. After all, why wouldn’t you just find someone who looks just like your top performers? To start, there are a lot of positions where two opposing traits can come in handy! Someone who is extroverted can be just as successful in a position as someone who is introverted. Same goes for people who are patient versus being eager, or imaginative versus practical. That brings us to our next point — similarities and differences.

Some pieces look similar, but the differences in pieces are what create the whole picture

When every person on your team thinks exactly the same way, you lose something very important in teamwork: Diversity of Thought². When hearing this term you might automatically think of gender, race, background, or age. While all of these things are important, another aspect of diversity can come in when looking at — that’s right — soft skills.

When teams are collaborating on a project there are aspects of their personality or motivations that can be helpful to have similarities in. However, if you have a team full of extroverted people, you might find it hard to get on track. If your team is full of big picture thinkers, you might find yourself with a lot of ideas and not a lot of action items. If everyone on the team is very precise, you might end up spending more time on the details than necessary. Find the gaps in your team and keep that in mind when you are looking for new people to join your organization.

Each piece is unique and has a place, even if it’s not where you originally thought

Let’s say you hire an individual who you thought was the perfect fit for a team and they’re not doing quite as well as you thought. Before giving up on that person take some time to get to know their soft skills. What are their personality strengths? Are you utilizing these strengths in their position? Do these strengths have a place in their current position in the team? What motivates this person? Are you fulfilling those motivations as a manager or teammate, or is their work fulfilling those motivations?

See if there is another place where that individual can thrive, even if there are some skill gaps to address. People are the most important asset to an organization³ so before getting rid of a good hire, see if they were just in the wrong position.

Once your pieces are where they belong, you can create something amazing!

Every person is unique. Even when there are shared qualities within a team nobody thinks, is motivated, or behaves in the exact same way. Those differences are what make a team stronger, more creative, and ready to tackle whatever challenges they might face!

Using MyPrint® to put together your team

For more ways to understand your team’s soft skills on an individual and group level, check out our MyPrint® assessment and keep reading to learn more about some of our features included in the Talentoday Manager platform!

One Pager: Use this one page summary of an individual’s results to see their top 3 personality strengths, top 3 motivators, and 3 most prominent professional behaviors.

Premium Report: This 20+ page report gives in depth information about every personality and motivation dimension that is measured in the MyPrint® assessment, including strengths and tips to working with that individual. Additional information about the 11 professional behaviors are included, along with suggested interview questions to help you go more in depth when getting to know someone!

Collaboration Report: View two individuals’ most similar and different personality traits, as well as top motivators and behavior synergies in a side-by-side comparison.

Collaboration Report Personality Similarities: Additional information includes strengths and risks of these similarities, as well as tips to work best together!

Collaboration Report Personality Differences: Additional information includes strengths and risks of these differences, as well as tips to work best together!

Target Profiles: Use pre-made templates or create your own target profile to see where your team has similarities. From there you can determine if these traits are beneficial to the position, or use this tool to determine the soft skill gaps in your team!

Stay tuned for some new, exciting features in 2021! Get more insights on your team as a whole on all personality and motivation dimensions, as well as understanding how individuals’ behaviors synergize with one another.

Looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!

Sources

¹https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/13/833346707/with-people-stuck-at-home-jigsaw-puzzle-sales-soar

²https://www.businessinsider.com/the-future-of-workplace-diversity-is-here-2013-9

³https://www.inc.com/james-kerr/your-people-are-your-most-important-asset.html#:~:text=Your%20people%20ARE%20your%20most%20important%20asset!,if%20it’s%20poor%20you%20lose.&text=The%20same%20can%20be%20said,you%20provide%20to%20your%20customers.


Closing the Skill Gap & Optimizing Your Workforce

We can all agree that the only constant is change, right? For example, look at your life 6 months ago and compare it to now. Pretty different, isn’t it? Okay, maybe that’s not a fair example because of the whole “global pandemic thing”; but pandemic aside, things are constantly evolving in all aspects of our lives. Your phone software is continuously being updated even if you have the same phone. Fast food restaurants are using touch screens to place orders. Every new model of car has a button that does something our cars didn’t do before. We wear masks to go to the grocery store and we are all finally getting the personal space we desire (let’s be honest, we can’t really push the whole pandemic thing aside).

It might seem like technology is taking over the world, but remember that behind every new technology are the humans that created it. We shouldn’t be competing with technology but rather learning how to coexist with it. Using technology to improve our processes and harnessing our human power in more efficient and effective ways is how we will beat the robots! (…and stay ahead of the skill gaps!)

Internal Mobility

Before we get too far into this blog post, I want to make sure we’re all on the same page about Internal Mobility. This is when an organization is recruiting for positions within their current workforce¹. For example, if there is a need for a new position within an organization or if someone leaves their role then the candidate pool would come from individuals already working at that organization. There are so many benefits to Internal Mobility, both economical and cultural. I suggest you check out the webinar recording for that!

“But what if the new role requires skills that nobody else in the organization possesses?”

That’s what our blog post is really about today: closing those skill gaps!

Upskilling and Reskilling

Upskilling is used when you are taking the skills that a person already has and improving on those skills². A great example of this is technology. Although someone might be proficient in Microsoft Excel, for example, they could go through courses that help them utilize more tools and functions in Excel that they did not know about before. When upskilling an individual within an organization, the goal is to keep them in their same position while improving their performance and adapting to changes within their environment.

Reskilling on the other hand deals with teaching an individual completely new skills². These can be hard or soft skills, and the goal is to provide an employee with the tools needed to move into a brand new position.

How do soft skills play a role in this?

As you know we are all about soft skills here at Talentoday! If you thought we were going to have a blog post that didn’t mention soft skills then you, my friend, were very wrong. Did you know that 94% of employers consider soft skills to be a key element of success in the workplace?³. This isn’t to say that hard skills are not important — just that we’re going to focus on our soft skills today.

Think about your current position. What was it that got you that role? It might be your education, your knowledge of a specific technology or product, or maybe your prior years of experience. Now think about what makes you successful in your role. These are probably going to be your soft skills: your ability to communicate, think critically, pay attention to details, or make decisions. This is why soft skills are so important; they play a huge role in one’s success in the workplace, and they sometimes go unnoticed!

Target Profiles

Assessing your workforce is the best way to keep up to date with the skills that you currently possess and also the skills that you need growth in. Our MyPrint assessment and Talentoday Manager platform are a great way to assess and visualize your workforce’s soft skills.
Within the Talentoday Manager platform we have a Target Profile feature to help visualize the 8 most distinct personality and motivation traits for a group of individuals. This can be a custom group of people or based around a single job title or function. Below is what the Target Profile for Sales looks like, which is one of the Target Profiles that is built into the Talentoday platform.

According to this Sales Target Profile, an ideal sales candidate would be highly motivated by Reward but would not expect to be very Autonomous in his or her role.

 

Now let’s put this to use — let’s say that I wanted to move into a Sales role. We could then match up my MyPrint results on top of the Target Profile for Sales to see the areas where I have the biggest gaps.

Right away we can see that I am a 47% match for a Sales profile. Does this mean that you should lose all hope in my ability to be a sales person? Not at all! This Target Profile should be screaming opportunity at you! One area of concern would be that I am very high on Optimism (shocker, I know). Knowing this, I would probably need some training on when, where, and how to use my positivity. I wouldn’t make any sales if I responded to clients’ concerns with “It’s fine, everyone experiences bumps in the road! You are still profiting though so you are doing great!” (Sorry to all of the sales people out there who just panicked a little bit).

When an employee is moving into a new role it is key to understand what skills they possess, as well as the talent gaps they need to fill, in order to set them up for success. Just because someone isn’t a 100% match for a new position does not mean that they are a lost cause. People are capable of learning and growing not only with their hard skills, but with soft skills as well!

In conclusion…

Technology is taking over the world. Okay, maybe not completely. Technology is constantly changing though, and with that comes a change in our workforce. By understanding the skills that your workforce currently possesses you can stay on top of the skill gaps that are sure to come your way. By investing in your people, you will be able to optimize your workforce to be the most successful that they can be!

If you’d like to view our webinar on Upskilling and Optimizing Your Workforce, or if you’d like more information about Talentoday, please visit www.talentoday.com or contact our experts at contact@talentoday.com.

Sources

1 Whelan, P. (2019). Why internal mobility is key to building the workforce of the future. HR Technologist. https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/recruitment-onboarding/why-internal-mobility-is-key-to-building-the-workforce-of-the-future/

2Agrawal, S., Poplawski, P., Reich, A., & De Smet, A. (2020). Beyond hiring: How companies are reskilling to address talent gaps. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/beyond-hiring-how-companies-are-reskilling-to-address-talent-gaps

3Chelovechkov, A., Lefkowitz, R., Spar, B., & Van Nuys, A (2019). 2019 Workplace Learning Report. LinkedIn Learning.