Off to the Right Start

Teaching Basic Skills to New Hires

Off to the Right Start - Teaching Basic Skills to New Hires

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Give your new recruits the best possible start by teaching them the skills they need to do their job.

Nathan has recently hired a grad.

Although his new hire is bright and competent in the technical aspects of the job, Nathan quickly discovers that he's sorely lacking in other, more basic areas. For instance, his emails are poorly worded, and he doesn't use a To-Do List or other planning tool to help him remember tasks and deadlines. What's more, within a few days, his desk is so disorganized that he has trouble finding key files.

In short, he's missing many of the fundamental skills that any employee needs to be successful in the workplace.

According to surveys in the U.S. and U.K., the majority of employers polled reported problems with the numeracy and literacy standards of recent graduates. Other skills, such as communication and people skills, can also be seriously underdeveloped in people new to the workplace.

In this article, we look at the fundamental skills that inexperienced people need to get off to a good start in their careers. We'll identify how to assess their training needs, and we'll explore the key areas where they may need additional training to bring them up to speed.

Identifying Current Skill Level and Needs

Before you can work on building basic skills, you need to identify your new hires' strengths and weaknesses. Conduct a Training Needs Assessment to help you develop an effective training plan.

Although "hard skills" (such as literacy and the technical skills required for a job) are relatively easy to assess, "soft skills" (such as interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence) are just as valuable.

Important soft skills include the following:...

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