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Piers Lea

Chief Strategy Officer


How learning can inform

talent acquisition

The latest World Economic Forum report on

workforce trends and strategies examined

what it would take to equip the global

workforce to manage the digital

transformation of business. By its estimate,

over the next four years every worker will need

an extra 101 days of learning. That's roughly

25 more training days each year.

To keep pace, companies are accelerating

investment in L&D. According to Mercer's

2018 Global Talent Trends study, 42% of

companies are upskilling digital competence

and 38% plan to deploy rapid internal skills


Start before day one

Certainly, it's an excellent time to embrace

employees' need to learn-and learn quickly.

But to make investment in L&D count for its

full value, companies must optimise the

learning journey across the employee

lifecycle, which begins before the first day on

the job.

Fortunately, L&D professionals are uniquely

positioned to help talent acquisition teams

attract and hire strong learners. We know their

characteristics and how to assess them. We

know what strong learners want. And we have

the expertise to help our HR colleagues apply

a learning mindset to recruitment.

This collaboration is key to building a skilled

and nimble workforce and delivering on the

promise of L&D to drive business success as

markets evolve.

Defining strong learners

Perhaps the most holistic term for what

makes a good learner is agility. Learning

agility has been defined variously as 'being

able to digest information quickly and figure

out what is most important', to 'change

frameworks and understand how different

things are related'. Or my favourite so far,

'knowing what to do when you don't know

what to do'.

But the crux of learning agility-particularly in

the context of digital transformation-may be

a person's willingness to abandon the old

ways of doing things. That is, to unlearn.

As noted in recent research by Amalgam

Insights, unlearning a habit demands

attention, a precious commodity in the

modern workplace. It taxes the working

memory, and it's often frustrating.



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