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Why Learning Agility must be part of your selection assessment

Selection and Recruitment

Why Learning Agility must be part of your selection assessment

Selecting when changes are occurring: aiming at a moving target

The best candidate

The right candidate for the right job. This is what every organisation wants. Actually, organisations do not want merely the right candidate, they want the best possible candidate. To an increasing extent, the best candidate is the one who performs today’s work well and maintains his or her good performance when changes are taking place within the organisation. Measuring Learning Agility helps you to identify a candidate of this calibre.

Selecting when changes are occurring: aiming at a moving target

For most organisations, change is the order of the day. Change means that your organisation will be different in the future. Perhaps it will have different objectives. It may even be based on a different business model. Whereas in the past change tended to be about going in a fairly clear way from starting point A to end point B, today, it is usually much more of a process. Although aimed at a new future, this process tends to be clear only in outline. The exact end point often remains unclear. Your employees may therefore have to overcome considerable challenges. The roles that they have today may be very different in the future. Their current roles may even be superseded by new ones. Selecting new people therefore means selecting them for the present and the future. It is not possible, however, to know exactly what the future will be like and what you will then expect from your new employees. You are therefore aiming at a moving target that is all the more difficult to see because of future unknowns.

What is Learning Agility?

Learning Agility is the ability to rapidly develop new, effective behaviour in new situations. People who have a high level of Learning Agility learn more quickly in new, unfamiliar situations. They more quickly identify and maintain a clear focus on what is important, familiarise themselves with the duties of a new position and ‘read’ a new situation. This ability to rapidly learn and adapt gives an organisation a major advantage and is a reason why a growing number of organisations consider measuring Learning Agility to be just as important as assessing intelligence and personality when selecting candidates. Employees who achieve high Learning Agility scores, regardless of whether or not they are high potentials, are the ones who can successfully overcome future challenges. They are the ones, irrespective of place in the organisation, who can and will make the difference.

The five success factors of employees who have a high level of Learning Agility:

  1. They are critical thinkers. They are curious, investigate matters and are able to establish new links.
  2. They are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and remain calm under pressure.
  3. They dare to experiment and come up with new ideas in new situations.
  4. They deliver results, also in new situations.
  5. They learn from others and adapt easily. People like to share with them.

For your organisation, these are the employees who will lead the way as members of a team or an organisational unit, both now and when a new course has been set. In short, make sure that measuring Learning Agility becomes an integral part of your selection process. Measuring Learning Agility will give you a clear competitive advantage. It will also ensure that your organisation remains a learning and agile one that is always a step ahead in a rapidly changing world.

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