Skills training for entry-level employees: Hard and soft skill bootcamps

Posted March 09, 2018 by

There is a disconnect between employers and younger employees about the skills which are important in the workplace.

As far as I can tell, managers have almost always been, on average, older than their employees and those managers have almost always fretted about the lack of skills those employees bring to the workplace, especially younger employees. This isn’t a millennial phenomenon but an age-old generational phenomenon.

For a while now, I have noodled on why so many employers spend so much time and energy complaining about young adults and their lack of workplace-related skills. These employers want to pay these people entry-level wages, and yet they seem to forget that means that their employees will have entry-level skills. But maybe they don’t need to. Maybe the employees can have better skills before they report to their hiring managers.

Related: Strategies to address the tech skills gap and plan your future workforce

What if employers provided a bootcamp environment for a week so that new, inexperienced employees would learn more than what tax deductions they can take, where the cafeteria is located, and what to do if there is a tornado? What if HR had those employees for a week and taught them, in a classroom environment, the skills that the hiring managers complain are lacking such as appropriate dress, how to write professional emails, and more? HR wouldn’t teach hard skills like math to incoming engineers, but they would teach those engineers how to write an email to their managers.

I was recently interviewed by a reporter who writes almost exclusively on HR-related matters. Together, neither of us could come up with a single example of an employer who is already doing this outside of the military. Employers, are you doing this? Are you measuring your success?

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