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Essential skills for a campus hire- what should you be training them for?

Essential skills for a campus hire- what should you be training them for?

It’s almost the end of the season of ‘Campus to Corporate’ programs and one thing stands out. When we talk to leading orgs and we understand what they are looking for from their new recruits, it’s seldom about the functional skills and invariably, it’s about attitude and behavior. As our belief goes, beyond technical skills, it’s the behavioral skills and attitude that can help any employee set himself/herself up for success at the workplace!

From our various interactions with talent management leaders from leading organizations, here are a few behavioral skills that should be a part of every Induction or Onboarding program. 

1. Integration with the team:

Since most of your campus hires would be new to the organizational context, and have been highly individualistic in their approach till this point, it’s important to give them clear insights into working in teams and working with shared goals. The induction programs should also be touching upon important aspects of teamwork like trust, respect, appreciating diversity of opinions and owning team decisions despite their own perspectives on the decision.  Team work at college projects and at organizations’ projects differs in several aspects and it would be helpful for the new hires to level up.

2. Collaboration & Influence without authority:

Being one of the newest entrants into the org has its own pros and cons. It’s imperative that one can’t get their work done without the help of others, and being new joiners, getting help from others without using managerial authority is a daunting task. While taking help of the organizational hierarchy is an option, it’s important to give them the perspective that building their own network is of ultimate importance. Also, what better time to convince them that collaboration is not a transaction but a culture and needs work?

3. Result Focus:

When it comes to results, the question is Do we just focus on our tasks or do we consider the bigger picture and Goals. Accountability means you are held responsible for the tasks assigned to you, however, what we need to make teams stronger is ownership by each individual.  Campus Hires need to realize how goals are shared and interdependent, and hence everyone needs to own the Goal beyond their tasks. What is the ultimate goal your team is looking at and how can you think beyond your own tasks and own the result? This is perhaps going to be one of the key skills one would need to access in their journey towards leadership roles as well.

4. Communication beyond tools:

‘You need good communication skills’ is perhaps something they’ve heard enough times before getting here. Don’t tell them just that. How about telling them what good communication means in your organization? Let them experience the need for empathy, active listening, giving and receiving feedback and communicating for results.  Communication is now not just a skill, it’s a behavior and thus it’s imperative to understand how communication works best when it’s in a collaborative environment, where everyone works towards the greater good!

5. Customer Centricity:

Customer centricity is a culture and it’s important that your new joiners get exposed to this right at the start. Key issues that need to be covered include identifying the needs of the internal and external customers, proactively addressing those needs, nurturing these customer relationships and more! Give them a perspective on how to put the end customer at the center of everything they do. Empathy features here as a great competency to develop because it forms the foundation of being customer centric (along with everything else!)

6. Vision and Value Immersion:

Along with the behavioral skills, it’s also important to give the new hires an exposure to the vision and values of the organization. Just telling them the values isn’t really going to cut it though. Illustrate what living those values mean. Show them behaviors that are expected of them pertaining to each value and how it relates to their day to day work.

While I don’t claim that this list is in anyway exhaustive, it’s important to start somewhere and thus gives you a good basis. How can you further nurture your new hires to be ready for bigger roles ? We will be covering that in another blog soon!

Do share your comments and views!

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