Published on February 8th, 2023
Adjacent skills, is a term you might have heard before, but what exactly does it mean? Adjacent skills refer to the set of skills that are closely related to an individual’s current skill set and can be leveraged to make them a better fit for a new job or role. In the world of talent acquisition, adjacent skills play a vital role.
When it comes to filling a job opening, most companies look for candidates with a perfect match of skills and experience. However, this approach can limit the pool of potential hires and make it difficult to find the right fit. This is where adjacent skill candidates come into play. They bring a diverse set of skills and experiences that can bring a fresh perspective to the role and organization.
In this article, we’ll explore the concept of adjacent skills in depth and its significance in the world of talent acquisition. We’ll delve into the benefits of considering adjacent skill candidates, and how companies can tap into this hidden pool of talent. We’ll also look at how organizations can assess and train adjacent skill candidates to help them succeed in their new roles.
So, buckle up, and let's dive into the world of adjacent skills and the power they bring to the table of talent acquisition!
“Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.” — Henry David Thoreau
Defining Adjacent Skills
Adjacent skills, the unsung heroes of talent acquisition. But what exactly are they? Let's start with a definition. Adjacent skills are the set of skills that are closely related to an individual's current skill set and can be leveraged to make them a better fit for a new job or role.
Understanding the Different Types of Adjacent Skills
Adjacent skills come in different shapes and sizes. Some common types of adjacent skills include technical skills, soft skills, and transferable skills. Technical skills are the ones that are related to a specific industry or job, for example, programming languages for a software developer. Soft skills, on the other hand, refer to personal attributes such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Transferable skills are those skills that can be applied to a variety of different jobs, such as project management or leadership.
Separating Adjacent Skills from Core Skills
So, how are adjacent skills different from core skills? Core skills are the fundamental skills required to perform a job effectively. Adjacent skills, on the other hand, are the skills that complement an individual's core skills and can help them adapt to new roles or tasks. To put it simply, core skills are the foundation, and adjacent skills are the icing on the cake.
In conclusion, understanding the concept of adjacent skills is crucial for talent acquisition professionals as it opens up a vast pool of potential hires with a diverse set of skills and experiences. By considering adjacent skill candidates, companies can bring in new perspectives and drive innovation, making them more competitive in the market.
It's time to embrace the power of adjacent skills and discover the benefits they bring to the table. Here's what you need to know:
Cost-effective Talent Acquisition
Hiring adjacent skilled candidates can be a cost-effective solution for talent acquisition. It can reduce the need for extensive training, as these candidates already possess some relevant skills. This means less time and money invested in training, which can be a big win for companies.
Adjacent skilled candidates come from different backgrounds and have diverse sets of experiences, which can bring a fresh perspective to the organization. This diversity can lead to increased creativity and innovation, making companies more competitive in the market.
Better Adaptability and Resilience
Adjacent skilled candidates are more adaptable and resilient, as they have already demonstrated their ability to learn and grow in their previous roles. This can lead to a more agile workforce, capable of handling changes and adapting to new challenges.
Improved Employee Retention
Hiring adjacent skilled candidates can lead to improved employee retention rates. These candidates are more likely to stay with the company for a longer period, as they feel challenged and fulfilled in their new roles. This can lead to a more stable and productive workforce, reducing the costs and headaches associated with high turnover rates.
Increased Employee Engagement
Adjacent skilled candidates are more likely to feel engaged and motivated in their new roles. This is because they are challenged and given the opportunity to learn and grow, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and a more productive workforce.
Better Problem-solving and Creativity
Adjacent skill candidates bring a unique set of experiences and perspectives to the table, which can lead to better problem-solving and creative solutions. This diversity of thought can be especially valuable in today's fast-paced and constantly changing business environment.
Improved Company Culture
Hiring adjacent skilled candidates can have a positive impact on company culture. These candidates bring fresh ideas and perspectives, which can lead to increased collaboration and a more inclusive work environment. This can lead to a more positive and productive workplace, benefiting both employees and the company as a whole.
Access to a Wider Talent Pool
By considering adjacent skill candidates, companies can tap into a much wider talent pool. This can be especially valuable in industries where there is a shortage of skilled professionals, giving companies access to the top talent they may have otherwise missed out on.
Identifying adjacent skill candidates may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a breeze. Here's what you need to know:
Importance of Job Description
The job description is the first place to start when it comes to identifying adjacent skill candidates. By being mindful of the language used in the job description, companies can attract a wider pool of candidates, including those with adjacent skills. This can be as simple as being more inclusive with the language used, such as listing preferred skills instead of mandatory skills.
Assessing Candidates' Transferable Skills
It's not just about what a candidate has done in the past, but what they are capable of doing in the future. This is where assessing transferable skills come in. Transferable skills are skills that can be applied to different situations and industries. When interviewing candidates, look for examples of how they have applied their skills in different contexts. This can provide valuable insight into their potential as adjacent skill candidates.
Utilizing Recruitment Technology
Technology can be a valuable tool in identifying adjacent skill candidates. By leveraging technology such as AI-powered resume screening, companies can quickly and easily identify candidates with the right mix of skills, even if they don't have direct experience in the specific industry. Additionally, using technology such as online assessments and gamified interviews can provide valuable insights into a candidate's potential, helping companies identify those with adjacent skills.
Networking and Referrals
Networking and referrals can be a valuable source of adjacent skill candidates. Encouraging employees to refer their network can help companies tap into a wider pool of talent and identify individuals with adjacent skills. This can be especially valuable in industries where there is a shortage of skilled professionals, giving companies access to top talent they may have otherwise missed out on.
Employee Development Programs
Employee development programs can be a valuable tool for identifying adjacent skill candidates within a company. By providing employees with training and development opportunities, companies can help them acquire new skills and grow their careers. This can also help companies identify employees who have the potential to take on new roles and responsibilities, including those with adjacent skills.
Consider Non-traditional Candidates
When it comes to identifying adjacent skill candidates, don't limit your search to traditional candidates. Consider individuals from non-traditional backgrounds, such as those who have taken a career break or those who have transitioned from a different industry. These individuals may bring a unique set of skills and experiences that can be valuable to a company.
Fostering Employee Autonomy and Empowerment
By fostering a culture of autonomy and empowerment, companies can give adjacent skill candidates the freedom to explore their passions and interests. This can help them develop adjacent skills in areas they are most passionate about, leading to better outcomes for both the employee and the company.
Building a Strong Employee Network
A strong employee network can be critical to the success of adjacent skill candidates. By providing opportunities for employees to connect with one another, companies can help them build relationships and develop the skills they need to succeed. This can also help to increase employee engagement and reduce turnover, as employees feel supported and valued in their development.
Investing in Employee Development
Investing in employee development can pay off big in the long run. By providing employees with the resources and support they need to develop their skills, companies can help them grow their careers and reach their full potential. This can also help to increase employee engagement and reduce turnover, as employees feel valued and supported in their development.
Embracing a Growth Mindset
Embracing a growth mindset can be critical to the success of adjacent skill candidates. By fostering an environment of continuous learning and development, companies can help employees to grow and evolve over time. This can lead to better outcomes for both the employee and the company, as employees are able to bring new skills and perspectives to the table.
In conclusion, the key to success when it comes to hiring adjacent skill candidates is to implement best practices that support and develop these individuals. By fostering employee autonomy and empowerment, building a strong employee network, investing in employee development, and embracing a growth mindset, companies can fully unlock the power of talent acquisition and tap into a wider pool of top talent.
Well folks, we've reached the end of this journey into the world of Adjacent Skills and Talent Acquisition. To recap, we've covered the basics of what Adjacent Skills are and how they differ from Core Skills. We also took a deep dive into the benefits of hiring Adjacent Skill Candidates, including cost-effectiveness, diversity, adaptability and resilience, improved employee retention, and more.
We then explored the best ways to identify Adjacent Skill Candidates, including the importance of job descriptions, assessing transferable skills, and utilizing recruitment technology. And finally, we talked about the best practices for hiring and developing Adjacent Skill Candidates, including offering on-the-job training, mentorship and coaching, creating a supportive culture, and encouraging employee autonomy and empowerment.
All in all, it's clear that Adjacent Skills are a valuable resource for Talent Acquisition professionals. By tapping into the power of these skills, companies can not only attract and retain top talent, but also create a diverse, adaptable, and resilient workforce.
So my final thoughts on Adjacent Skills are simple: if you're a Talent Acquisition expert, it's time to start considering Adjacent Skills in your hiring decisions. By embracing this innovative approach to talent acquisition, you'll be able to unlock the full potential of your workforce and build a more successful, sustainable, and competitive organization.
And with that, I'll leave you with a call to action: it's time to start thinking outside the box and embracing the power of Adjacent Skills. So let's get to it, folks!
Thomas M. A.
A literature-lover by design and qualification, Thomas loves exploring different aspects of software and writing about the same.
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