Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Square pegs do fit in round holes

i am reading No Ordinary Disruption by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel.  I am in the middle of the chapter “The Jobs Gap”.

The basic problem is that most work has changed from production or transactional to interactional.  That is, most jobs were making something or providing a direct service, such as a bank teller.  Now many jobs are interactional, such as a doctor or lawyer.  Some of these don’t require much training, such as home health aide; others require years to acquire.

Worse yet, too any employers look for overly specialized skills without looking at the person’s ability to learn.  For example, they want somebody who is proficient in Microsoft Word, but they won’t accept somebody who is proficient in Apple’s Pages. Duh! They are both word processing programs.  The skill of writing should have more weight than the tool of writing.  Maybe the person who knows Word has poor grammar, but the person who knows Pages has excellent grammar.  Who will be the faster learner?  Probably not the person with poor grammar.

Thus, the square person with skill in Pages could probably easily fit into the round hole of Word.  Unfortunately, too many people hire on the basis of what an applicant knows than on the basis of what an applicant can learn.