Archive for April, 2010

Under-qualified for the Job?

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Can’t get promoted?

Tired of new hires that you have to train?

Does the next job in your career path, or in your organization, require skills or a degree you don’t have? Feeling stuck in dead-end job?

I’ve heard this frequently in both the public and private sectors.  Recently I’m hearing it loudly in agencies federal government.  Yet, agencies are desperate to move forward in reaching their vision an fulfilling their mission but don’t have the talent or skills in current workforce. Then there is the hiring process…but that’s a different discussion.

How do we bridge the gap? Both the organization and the individuals have the challenge and the responsibility.

Teaming with HR and subject matter experts, managers at various levels can identify and clearly describe the type of talent, skills they need today and going forward. It is more than just updating old job descriptions. It is a critical analysis based on bridging the gap between the present and future needs of the organization. The deliverable is a set of competencies [with examples of how demonstrated] relevant to various levels and skills/knowledge. Resources for developing those skills can be included. This is not just a training class, but looking at the variety of opportunities to be exposed to new ways of thinking, doing and solving problems.

Individuals can  read the job postings/descriptions. But more helpful is talking with others in the  role you want – both in your organization and in other organizations about what helps them be successful. It’s often more than just specific knowledge, but the ability to appropriately use and communicate it. Ask what helped them and resources they used to develop their skills. Many are low or no-cost. Others may be a hefty investment.

If an education degree/cert is needed, explore what components of that degree are valued Why a BS over a BA? For some hiring managers (HR) the degree shows a level of commitment and perseverance. Others look for the discipline, maturity, learning and thinking skills. For higher levels (Masters or PhD) it indicates discipline, commitment and depth of knowledge.  In some cases the educational experience indicates a status desired to effectively relate to key people (colleagues, customers, senior-levels, etc).

It is up to each of us to pay attention to how we need to either communicate the skills we have and are not using, or update our skills in a way that will help our organizations achieve their mission.