For a long time, recruiting processes were very much alike: a job advert, a resume, a cover letter and if things went well, an interview, followed by more interviews, until getting the position. A new revolution is coming, changing the classical approach.
What has worked so far is now being accused of creating a plethora of model flawless employees, lacking personality. People who were hired mainly on their hard skills and know-hows. If soft skills have been taking over the corporate world, a new trend is now flourishing in human resources: mad skills.
Mad skills: what are they?
Mad skills are what can make a difference in a candidate. A passion for Italian stamps from the twenties, for skydiving, writing or any other hobby implying art, sport or other domains… all of these are mad skills.
Out-of-the-ordinary passions, hobbies or pastimes that can be of value in a company, because they are connected to unconventional profiles.
The time when the hobby section of the resume only featured “films, novels and football” is now over. Besides, companies that are receptive to mad skills do not require resumes anymore.
American tech-inspired recruitment methods
Mad skills were first taken into account in American IT companies and startups. The latter hold innovation and disruption as central in their strategies, thus they need very diverse profiles with revolutionary ideas. Strong personalities thinking outside the box and likely to have new ideas.
This trend has now reached Europe and mad skills have made their debut in job adverts published by agile, technophile and innovation companies embracing the digital transformation.
Recruiting with new rules
In order to identify candidates with mad skills, recruiting tools and processes must be adapted. Some companies organise hackathons instead of cheking education or previous jobs. Intense workshops, for a limited time, meant to building a project or solving a problem.
These concrete applications enable companies to test the candidates on the technical, human and professional skills. It is also a great opportunity to let “mad” candidates express themselves, while they would not have been recruited in a traditional job interview.
A new work environment
Hiring candidates with mad skills requires hard work from companies, not all ready to make the move. Indeed, if these profiles think differently, their workspaces and work environments must be adapted too. Work hours, company rules or IT equipment… in order to foster disruption, companies must be disruptive too. This transition may be harsh for major companies with a strong and traditional corporate culture.
Owning mad skills is not an end in itself for students and graduates. They do not guarantee candidates will find a job. However, people with mad skills often have a clear idea of what they want to do with their professional lives. It is then important for students to choose a business school with an emphasis on career objective support.
Last but not least, mad skills must real and not hidden. Inventing mad skills to stand out from the crowd is a bad idea. You may have mad skills without knowing it. Why not look into your passions and see which could be accentuated? Whether it is 90’s video games, bird watching or new technologies, there is always something which could make a difference. The only condition is to be able to share it.
Learn more about French business school EMLV’s educational approach.