Employers Want "Critical Thinkers," But Do They Know What It Means? - Deepstash

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Employers Want "Critical Thinkers," But Do They Know What It Means?

https://www.fastcompany.com/3037837/employers-want-critical-thinkers-but-do-they-know-what-it-means?cid=search#

fastcompany.com

Employers Want "Critical Thinkers," But Do They Know What It Means?
"Critical thinking." It's a phrase as vague as "results-oriented individual" or "problem-solver." Companies call for job applicants that are both worker bees and world-class innovators, prepared to paint outside the lines-but only in the brand's monochromatic colors.

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72% of employers

...feel that critical thinking is key to their organization’s success.

But only half of those surveyed said their employees actually show this skill.

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Traits employers seek in critical thinkers

  • They read between the lines: they cross-examine evidence and logical argument;
  • They dig deeper;
  • They're skeptical: they don't jump on the first good idea they find;
  • They come prepared: they know that real problems occur and are agile enough to find ways to solve them creatively.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Critical thinkers need the knowledge first

Employers need critical thinkers, but they cannot find them.

Focussing on knowledge only in college does not seem to help. Neither does it help to only focus on intellectual and cognitive sk...

The focus of skills over knowledge

Considering the K-12 system, we see that the emphasis on skills over content has changed the curriculum. Students increasingly focus on learning skills, but they may not learn too much history or science.

Critical thinking is not enough on its own. It needs to be used to gain insight from studying meaningful subject matter, like history or economics or physics or chemistry.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a disciplined activity. It is not something we can acquire without intensive study and practice, nor can we isolate it from knowledge. Knowledge is foundational to provide the structure to do deep thinking.

Only with some background knowledge, can we apply the skills of critical thinking to problems and texts, understand the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, and offer creative solutions.

"I’m a good problem solver"

Focusing on problem-solving implies that a candidate possesses secondary skills including critical thinking, strategic thinking, and leadership.

Demonstrate your problem-solving abilities...

"I’m a good communicator"

Communication encompasses not only speaking skills, but also your ability to lead, critique, and ask for help. Being adept in various communication methods also shows emotional intelligence.

"I have strong time management skills"

Time management is more than just completing tasks on time. An employer cares about how you spend the time leading up to a deadline as well.

Demonstrate your strength in this area by sharing how you prioritize your daily tasks.
Using the 80/20 rule for project prioritization can show how you best schedule your time to give your full attention to critical project tasks.

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Making a business thrive

Specific vocational skills are essential - coders should be able to code, salespeople should be able to sell. But, we also need soft skills. By only focusing on the seemingly essential skills...

Ignoring soft skills

Organizations know how to measure vocational skills. They know how to measure typing skills for example. However, they are less able to measure passion or commitment.

Organizations hire and fire based on vocational skill output. But, getting rid of a negative thinker or a bully is much more difficult. An employee that demoralizes an entire team is hampering productivity.

Soft skills 

If you've got the vocational skills, you're of little help without the human skills. The soft skills, or rather real skills, can't replace vocational skills, but amplify the things you've already been measuring.

For instance, a team member with all the traditional vocational skills is the baseline. Add to that perceptive, charismatic, driven, focused, goal-setting, inspiring, motivated, deep listener, and you have a team member that will benefit the organization in exponential ways.