Hiring: Grades matter but other factors vital

Companies are still drawn to good grades as these are a strong sign of a prospective employee's capability, leading employers told students..But other factors, such as how candidates work under pressure, are increasingly being considered in the hiring process.

In a five-minute speech on the same topic, Singapore Management University undergraduate Tan Xin Hao said: "Titles come and go, but there's no substitute for values... which cannot be picked up within the four walls of a classroom.

"Would you prefer a second-class honours graduate with stellar leadership experience, or a first-class who has no heart to groom the next generation?"

NUS to take in more poly grads with entrepreneurial abilities

NUS, which runs a programme to nurture entrepreneurs in different business nodes of the world, has asked the five polytechnics to each nominate up to 40 students. These include those who have displayed a strong entrepreneurial inclination during their diploma studies as well as students who have participated in programmes that are related to entrepreneurship…students who enjoy what they are learning tend to be more motivated and are more likely to do well and, at NUS, the faculty constantly looks at ways to encourage students to embrace lifelong learning and pursue their passions.

We have to hire on attitude

“Technology changes so fast that we really have to change the paradigm of how we hire,” she says. “We have to hire attitude, and … keep them trained and not expect them to come with these skill sets that are outdated by the time they walk through the door.”

Running technology for a government agency is less about technology and more about ideas – so hiring diverse people is key. “I try to surround myself with people who don’t think like I do,” she says. “We’ve had three years of complete transformation; we wouldn’t have been able to do that if everyone thought the same.”

Asked to identify a favourite quote to inspire the next generation of IT leaders, Jewell selects a Steve Jobs line: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

Freakonomics Radio presents their 'How To Be Creative" series

Freakonomics Radio presents a special series, “How to Be Creative.” Over the course of the series, you’ll hear from some of the world’s most accomplished creatives: contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, inventor James Dyson, musician Elvis Costello, author Jennifer Egan, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, illustrator Maira Kalman, filmmaker Seth Gordon, graphic designer Michael Bierut, and many more. You’ll also hear from economists and psychologists who study creativity…

Building a tech-enabled ecosystem: A culture of innovation

A culture of innovation and failing fast drives the Chinese financial conglomerate’s expansion beyond traditional sector boundaries and its early adoption of emerging technologies…”We have a clear vision and set very aggressive targets. No matter your background or position, at the end of the year, the only thing that matters is whether you’ve delivered your results or not. That helps to galvanize people to work together because if they don’t, they won’t meet their targets.…In this culture, everyone is able to speak up with new ideas or objections. There’s no sacred ground that you can’t touch, and that’s a philosophy that has really helped us over the years. Risk taking is strongly encouraged, and failure isn’t stigmatized. When I first came to Ping An, I remember Peter Ma, our founder and CEO, telling me, “You don’t have to worry about failing at all. We just need you to try really hard to find a way to make it work. As long as one of these ideas eventually works, we’ll be successful…”

Great Leadership Starts With Self-Awareness

Self-awareness has been cited as the most important capability for leaders to develop, according to the authors of “How To Become a Better Leader,”which was published in the MIT Sloan Management Review. Successful leaders know where their natural inclinations lie and use this knowledge to boost those inclinations or compensate for them.

A study also found that self-awareness impacts companies’ bottom line. In a study of the stock performance of 486 publicly traded companies, Korn/Ferry International found that companies with strong financial performance tend to have employees with higher levels of self-awareness than poorly performing companies. 

Yet self-awareness seems to be in short supply among leaders. While women in executive-level management positions tend to exhibit more self-awareness than men in the same positions, the overall percentages suggest there is much opportunity for growth in this area. In a study of 17,000 individuals worldwide, the Hay Group Research found that 19 percent of women executives interviewed exhibited self-awareness as compared to 4 percent of their male counterparts…

Why Schools Should Teach Entrepreneurship

Tina Seelig is a professor of the Practice in Stanford University’s Department of Management Science and Engineering and a faculty director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. She will speak at the Inside Creativity track at the Aspen Ideas Festival. 

Our education system is responsible for preparing young people to build successful lives. They should be ready for the wide range of possibilities ahead of them, including working for others, starting their own ventures, and contributing to their communities. All of these options require a depth of knowledge in their chosen discipline, as well as creative problem solving skills, leadership abilities, experience working on effective teams, and adaptability in an ever-changing environment. It’s no coincidence that these are the same capabilities that employers say they want in college graduates. According to research conducted by National Association of Colleges and Employers, they are also the deciding factors when employers compare candidates with equivalent backgrounds…

The Future of Jobs Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Disruptive changes to business models will have a profound impact on the employment landscape over the coming years. Many of the major drivers of transformation currently affecting global industries are expected to have a significant impact on jobs, ranging from significant job creation to job displacement, and from heightened labour productivity to widening skills gaps. In many industries and countries, the most in-demand occupations or specialties did not exist 10 or even five years ago, and the pace of change is set to accelerate. By one popular estimate, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. In such a rapidly evolving employment landscape, the ability to anticipate and prepare for future skills requirements, job content and the aggregate effect on employment is increasingly critical for businesses, governments and individuals in order to fully seize the opportunities presented by these trends—and to mitigate undesirable outcomes.

The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Five years from now, over one-third of skills (35%) that are considered important in today’s workforce will have changed. 

By 2020, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have brought us advanced robotics and autonomous transport, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, biotechnology and genomics. 

These developments will transform the way we live, and the way we work. Some jobs will disappear, others will grow and jobs that don’t even exist today will become commonplace. What is certain is that the future workforce will need to align its skillset to keep pace.

The secrets of the high potential personality

Are there six traits that could really mark out your potential to achieve?

Are you curious, conscientious and competitive? Do you also have the more mysterious qualities of “high adjustment”, “ambiguity acceptance” and “risk approach”? If so, congratulations! According to new psychological research, these six traits constitute a “high potential” personality that will take you far in lifeThe truth, of course, is a little more nuanced. It turns out the same traits, in excess, may also impede your performance, and the real secret to success may be to know exactly where you fall on each spectrum, and how to make the most of your strengths and account for your weaknesses. But this new approach promises to be an important step forward in our bid to understand the complex ways our personality affects our working life…

These countries are best at preparing kids for the jobs of the future

When asked which skills the children of today will need to develop to keep their jobs safe from automation, employers often highlight so-called “soft skills”, a suite of attributes that include social abilities like networking, communication, negotiation, team-building and problem-solving. At the root of these skills is how well a child gets on with others. 

Now, an analysis of the latest PISA report (Programme for International Student Assessment), which assesses how 15-year-olds in OECD countries are performing in science, mathematics and reading, has revealed the countries in which children are best at “collaborative problem-solving”.

Asian countries Singapore, Japan and South Korea top the chart, with Canada, Estonia and Finland not far behind. Denmark, the United States and United Kingdom also make the top 10.

Why aren't Chinese students at UK universities getting top degrees?

New research shows undergraduates from China studying at British universities get fewer firsts than those from other countries. For Yali Liu, the hardest thing about UK higher education is having to go to the pub. "It's how much you need to invest socially with other students," she says. "I don't like going to a pub or club, but people just keep going out and I feel the pressure to go out too." This is because, unlike in China, she says, there is so much emphasis during the course on teamwork and group projects, so socialising with other students is crucial. "It's not about what you know and how you work, it's really about working with other people – especially British people," she says…

Global Human Capital Report 2017

Human capital is a key factor for growth, development and competitiveness. This link works through multiple pathways at the individual, firm and national level. Learning and working provide people with livelihoods, an opportunity to contribute to their societies and, often, meaning and identity. Workers’ skills lead to productivity and innovation in companies. At the national level, equality of opportunity in education and employment contribute to economic development and positive social and political outcomes…

Long hours, too much homework and stressed pupils – is there a solution to Hong Kong’s education system nightmare?

Thousands of pupils are under tremendous pressure as they study under a competitive education system – but how can the issue be fixed?

Young Javis Leung King-chung relates his nightmare.

“I was in school and my teacher said my class was too naughty, so although we started lessons at 7am, we had to stay on to work until 7pm,” the eight-year-old said.

“With our shocked looks and disgruntled sounds, the teacher then said we had to stay for 15 more hours. The more startled we became, the more the teacher kept increasing the hours. In the end, we had to stay for three days. I was so scared.”

Javis is not alone. Thousands of Hong Kong pupils are under tremendous pressure as they study under a competitive education system, face long school hours and deal with huge amounts of homework.

A survey of around 1,300 primary pupils by Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service last year found that 21.7 per cent complained of constant stress, with the most common sources of pressure being too much homework, preparing for secondary school and unsatisfactory academic performance…

Is the future of education learning by doing?

The university experience has changed.

It used to be enough for students to spend four years working hard on assignments, labs and exams to earn a useful undergraduate degree that signalled competence and was redeemable for a good job.

Employers would spend weeks or months training their newly hired graduates, sometimes in cohorts, shaping their broad knowledge so it could be applied to the specific needs of the company or government agency.

Today, in contrast, employers want fresh graduates who they don’t have to train.

That means students must learn and apply their knowledge at the same time, inside and outside the classroom, all without adding extra months or years to their studies. After completing their degrees, they are expected to be ready to compete for jobs and jump into working life immediately, without further training…