While hiring capable, intelligent people to drive a company’s success is a good use of resources, developing a culture that emphasizes learning can have a much better impact.

A college education provides a good foundation, but today’s engineers are expected to continually add to their skill set and keep current on the most recent technology, news and trends.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that companies are quickly moving from trying to find “knowledge candidates” to looking for “learning candidates.” A continual craving for new information and abilities does call for an innate desire. Staff members must also know “how to learn.”

Companies need more than a mission statement that talks about a desire to keep learning. Workers should feel reinforced and rewarded in their quest for new knowledge and ideas. Long-term learning should be recognized as an ideal employees work toward. However, that notion can be a bit ambiguous.

Consider the following tips on how to encourage your engineers to embrace a learning mindset.

1) Set Expectations Around Learning

You ought to be focusing on learning during the candidate selection process. Focus on resumes from job seekers who appear to have a track record of gaining knowledge. During interviews, ask about the last book each candidate has read or what they are working on outside of their job duties. Even if candidates end up talking about hobbies and personal pursuits, these questions can help you identify those who have a growth mentality.

Obviously, new staff members should be learning from day one, with learning built into a formal onboarding system. Even after they settle in, you should be fostering continual learning by providing access to cross-training opportunities, learning seminars and similar learning opportunities. Learning should also be formalized in performance reviews.

2) Establish Learning Metrics

Even employees who are more driven to learn new skills and ideas need some direction. Metrics and goals can help your staff members focus their learning efforts.

These objectives ought to be clearly defined, periodically reviewed and adjusted as needed. By holding staff members to specific goals and rewarding them for achieving them, your company makes it clear that learning is essential to success.

3) Prioritize a Broader Skill Set

Although employees ought to be advancing and expanding their core job skills, they should also be looking at abilities adjacent to their core skill set. For instance, the demand for analytics abilities across all industries is up more than 370 percent since 2011.

Employees are concerned about staying relevant amidst constantly shifting expectations and demands. You can support your staff members by encouraging them to broaden their skill sets and directing them toward learning in-demand abilities your company needs.

We Can Find Learning-Focused Candidates for Your Organization

At Jarvi Group, we specialize in connecting our clients to the types of candidates they are looking for, including candidates with a strong learning mentality. Please contact us today to find out how we can find top talent for your company.

Jarvi Group

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Grand Rapids, MI 49504

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