Gone are the days when a college diploma was enough to land a job interview. With the immense pressure on new graduates to pay off debts, the job search begins long before donning a cap and gown. Extra curriculars, networking and internships are no special asset in today’s job market; they’re a bare necessity in a workforce defined by unprecedented competition.
So how can a job applicant differentiate herself from countless other excellent candidates? One possibility: A mastery of design thinking. This creative method for problem-solving is becoming an essential skill across all industries—not to mention a hot course subject in college catalogues.
In today’s globalized, digital job-market, managers look beyond academic qualifications. Entrepreneur.com examines how companies are focusing, instead, on universal and indispensable characteristics: adaptability, problem-solving capability, empathy and creativity. Contemporary wisdom holds that, while a job applicant might be perfect on paper, she may perform poorly because she lacks creative confidence. And creativity is at the heart of design thinking.
How does a hiring manager know if a candidate has an aptitude for design thinking? According to Entrepreneur, organizations have started implementing tests and exercises that can assess creative propensity. Testing a candidate’s approach to problem solving can help identify which candidates will thrive on the job.
This new emphasis on design thinking doesn’t end once a job offer is tendered; it continues into the onboarding process and beyond. Digital HR Tech describes how companies are now improving training for new employees by using design thinking.
Instead of a bland walk-through of company policies, a new onboarding trend gives recent hires experiential learning opportunities. Lectures are transformed into hands-on training in this fresh approach which increases comprehension, understanding and engages new hires from day one.
Across industries, companies have started to realize that design thinking, and general creativity, are crucial employee skills. If organizations want to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape, they need imaginative people who can empathize and experiment.
Read more about design thinking and company strategy here: How Design Thinking Can Change Corporate Culture
Learn how to enable innovation skill-building at scale here or download our free ebook Kickstart Innovation: A Guide for Organizations.