Are Your Teams’ Capabilities Getting Frumpy?

 

I recently attended a global summit in San Diego last week where I learned much about the ongoing modernization efforts in technology. One topic covered was the launch of a completely new certification portfolio that essentially draws a line in the sand between traditional skills and those now being demanded in the workforce. As I was contemplating the impact of this from multiple vantage points, several things stuck out.

 

Repeatedly, I’m seen many of our customers struggle with the shift to a programmatic world that abandons the once coveted skills of a technology professional, and forfeits them for competencies in automation. This is impacting our circles in a big way, but there are several things you can focus on when you are faced with either retooling your own team or acquiring new talent. 

 

Getting ready for this transition, while not easy, is dependent on one thing, you. To realize success, start with some gentle changes to the candidates you are interviewing. You can begin by balancing your job descriptions to not preclude some of the modern skills you wish to acquire. To many times I see the same job description advertised or the same message given to the corporate recruiter to just ‘go find someone like the last guy’ which will result in exactly that. Instead, begin to lessen the requirements for legacy competencies and outline to those that are screening your candidates your expectations for the novel skills you are requiring. Separating the chaff from the wheat is critical to demanding change.

 

Balance your candidates and evaluate them by not only, resident aptitude but their willingness to embrace change. There are a myriad of tools that are aimed to help you determine these capabilities and finding someone that fits your corporate culture as well as the future demands is not easy. 

 

At times, I am asked to evaluate candidates for our clients that are in the final stages of the hiring process to help future proof their decision. To use the example of a classical engineering role that an organization is looking to transform into a programmatic one, start with these simple questions;

 

  1. Tell me about a time that you solved a traditional problem with automation and / or software?Some of the answers I’ve gotten have been a bit novice while others have blown my mind. This helps to map their thought process and ‘mental mapping’ ability. 

  2. Tell me about your walk through process when using automation to solve legacy problems? This question can certainly weed out the cowboys from the detailed oriented.

  3. Can you share with me several manual processes that you think should be automated? Obviously automation saves time and money and when implemented well, have a predictable outcome.

 

Look for specific answers to your questions and challenge nebulous answers, dig into the details and find out precisely what the outcome was. This will help you understand their capabilities and way of thinking. The next time you are looking to add to your team or backfill a position, remember that the past cannot be changed but the future is in your power.

 

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