Developing Hard Skills in Newer Employees

Developing Hard Skills in Newer Employees

During job interviews, employers with the best hiring practices look for a good balance of soft and hard skills. Because soft skills have taken on much more focus in recent years, however, some employers have started to neglect hard skills. If your business is filled with newer employees who seem to lack hard skills, there are several ways you can begin developing them to help your workers become more productive and effective in their jobs.

Why Are Hard Skills so Valuable?

While there’s nothing at all wrong with looking for candidates with strong soft skills, the hard skills are the ones that are more immediately valuable to your business. This is because hard skills are the abilities that your employees will rely on to accomplish their tasks on a day-to-day basis. While soft skills can help them grow and prosper in the long run, hard skills will be applicable from the first day they hire into the company.

The fact that hard skills are the basic skills that your employees will use every day also ties them closely to your company’s profits. If your business is staffed with a group of highly-skilled workers versed in a wide range of hard skills relevant to your industry, the enterprise will be able to turn a profit very effectively. If, on the other hand, your employees lack the skill sets necessary to fully capitalize on the opportunities your business has for growth, you will find that your profits will be sluggish or nonexistent. Unfortunately, if this is the case, no amount of prowess in soft skills can compensate for a team lacking the hard skills required to accomplish the necessary tasks. Below, you’ll find some of the best and most proven methods for developing hard skills in your new hires.

Institute Rolling Training

One of the challenges of keeping employees’ hard skills up to date is the fact that hard skills in the modern world are always changing. Workers dependent on software may find themselves working in an unfamiliar environment when updates come out or when your business switches to a different software for the same task. This is why it’s important to make rolling training sessions a continuous part of your business culture. Make sure all employees are taking regular training to keep their existing skills sharp and gain new ones. If you make this a permanent element of your business, you’ll be able to maintain a highly-skilled workforce.

Make Resources Available

If your employees are not quite up to speed on their hard skills, asking for help can seem embarrassing to them. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have a wide variety of resources available to your workers that they can use to enhance their hard skills. Books, online course material and other self-service resources can help them to independently find the answers they need when facing a problem their hard skills are not quite developed enough to deal with.

Assist With Continuing Education

Many smaller businesses will not be able to afford the cost, but for medium-sized businesses and tech startups, it can be extremely beneficial to offer assistance to your employees in paying for continuing education. Covering part of the tuition costs for ongoing classes may be a hefty expense, but it will give you a cutting edge workforce that is up to speed on all of the skills needed to succeed in the modern business environment.

Orient Your Hiring Process to Search for Hard Skills

If you frequently find your new hires lacking in the hard skills department, there’s a good chance that you need to make some fundamental changes in your recruitment and interviewing processes. Begin by actively recruiting recent graduates from college programs that teach the hard skills your business needs to succeed. During your interviews, you should also be asking candidates specific questions about whatever hard skills you are looking for. If you’re looking for a data entry expert, for example, be sure the person you are interviewing has extensive experience using multiple forms of data entry software and can quickly and effectively manipulate data sets as needed within those programs.

Developing hard skills in new employees is a process that must be ongoing as they continue to work and grow within your company. Ideally, your employees should have a good set of hard skills before being hired on, but even the most-skilled new hires will need training to apply their existing abilities to your specific enterprise. Encourage an environment of continuous learning and improvement, and you’ll be able to develop a staff of excellent employees.

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