Your onboarding & training program needs these skill sets!

It’s estimated Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. Are you sick of hearing that yet? We know Millennials are taking over and while most HR buzz is around how to attract and retain them, there is a lot to be said for the current skills gap.

Despite tech jobs all around the globe aching for Millennial talent, these young workers are also lacking in critical soft skills. According to a Bloomberg Recruiter Report, there are 6 skills in particular that employers are desperate to find, but having no luck. We’re here to tell you what they are and how to practically infuse training for them in your company’s employee onboarding and training. 

Download: New Employee Onboarding Checklist 

#1. Strategic Thinking

The rarest and most desired soft skill employers seek is strategic thinking. This is a tough skill to find not just in younger generations, but in leaders in general. According to Business Improvement Architects, strategic thinking in a nutshell is knowing,“What we should be doing and why.” So, how can employers condition recent grads to have strategic thinking?

Try this: During the onboarding and training process, set aside time to show new hires each task from the inside out. Break them down in grueling detail to show the what and the why of each step in the process and build it out to the big picture. It’s like a puzzle. Encourage them to look at each piece of the puzzle from every angle on a regular basis. Spice up the process with “brain games.” Companies like Luminosity and Brainzooming offer brain training exercises and games to buff up on strategic thinking. 

Read How These 4 Companies Rule New Hire Onboarding 

#2. Creative Problem-Solving

According to an article featured in the Wall Street Journal, executive partner of OI partners, Mary Ann Gontin explains, “Many people have the misperception that you’re born creative or you’re not, but creative people aren’t born, they’re made…Creativity is mostly a consequence of intending to be creative.”

Try this: Incorporate competitive problem-solving exercises for new hires. Give them a problem to solve, but offer them the most obvious solution to the problem up front and exclude it from being an acceptable answer. Each person has to work to offer a new solution that isn’t already being argued by one of their peers. This forces them to start thinking more resourcefully and in the end, they are able to see the many different ways to approach the problem. 

Read 5 Employee Onboarding Fails and How to Avoid Them 

#3. Leadership Skills

According to Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey, 53% of Millennials around the world hope to one day the leader of their company. Yet, this generation continues to lack critical leadership skills. In fact, the same study found that only 24% of Millennials feel this is one of their strengths. Perhaps their hope is that they will get trained on leadership skills within their company.

Try this: Clearly, Millennials have the drive to be leaders. They’re just not getting the training prior to joining the workforce. Your company may already have leadership training practices to abide by. My suggestion is this: start training earlier, during the employee onboarding and training process. New hires won’t just be more productive and ready to build up those skills for when they’re really needed, but they will feel engaged and empowered that their employer is making an effort to develop them. 

#4. Communication Skills

Is it really a surprise many young college graduates aren’t the best at communicating? In this day and age, with a surplus of tech at our fingertips, we’ve all gotten pretty terrible at it. In fact, according to a recent survey by 15five, only 15% of workers said they were “very satisfied” with communication in their company.

Try this: Use role-playing to teach new hires how to be effective communicators. Being a good communicator means being aware of how you speak, listen, digest and react to information. Have employees communicate on a make-believe (or real) project and make each one jot down things they notice about the other’s style of communication, anything they missed during the conversation that impacted the project, etc. Record them so they can physically see how they interact with others and learn from their mistakes.

Unfortunately, the soft skills gap is far scarier than gaps in hard skills. As the gap continues to frustrate employers, they have to come up with ways to be proactive and change the situation. It starts with employee onboarding and training and making sure new hires are learning how to develop those skills from day one. Once they are shown the ropes, they will hopefully craft their skill independently over time. 

Looking to update your employee onboarding process? Let Click Boarding’s simple, online paperless onboarding system help get you one step closer to engaged, happy new hires!

Engaging Experiences Growth & Retention