How would you reply if someone asked, “What makes you great at your job?”
You might talk about your ability to communicate clearly and empathize with others. Perhaps you’d point to your adaptability and critical thinking—no matter the circumstances, you can find a solution. Maybe you’d mention how collaboration comes as second nature and you love bringing people together. Or maybe you’re a whiz at coding, an exceptional writer, or the best on your team at crunching numbers.
The consistent thread in these responses is the emphasis on skills.
Why are skills top of mind for everyone? From generative AI to automation, the rapid pace of change has altered the skill sets required for jobs by 25% since 2015. And this rate is expected to double by 2027. In addition, 40% of leaders say their employees’ core skills will change in the next five years. Now, more than ever, there’s a rush to ‘future-proof’ organizations by finding and developing talent with the right skills for work. But for organizations to succeed at skills-based hiring, a clear understanding of what skills are and how they are developed is essential.
What are skills?
The term "skills" covers a lot of ground, but at its core, it combines technical abilities, behavioral competencies and personal identity.
Skills are learned or developed over the course of a person’s career through the roles they hold, challenges they face, success and achievements, mistakes made, and lessons learned. Some skills may be acquired through education, on-the-job training, formal mentoring, new experiences and changing roles. Others are more innate aspects of a person’s self, closely tied to their behavior and identity.