How inTulsa Helps Develop Power Skills in Candidates, and How This Helps Employers

In the past, hiring traditionally focused on hard skills, with the belief those skills are part of our DNA, and cannot be developed in a candidate.

At inTulsa, we keep an open mind with a growth mindset when it comes to talent. We hold the idea that “power skills”, which are skills that are more fluid, can absolutely be developed, and that the candidate can adapt to them in time. Therefore, these are the types of skills to lead with when hiring.  

Power skills are particularly relevant for us as we work with candidates from non-traditional backgrounds, as well as with candidates who are looking to change industries and desire to parlay the skills they have already acquired.

This piece in the Medium publication Better Humans best addresses the rise of power skills: “Power skills are about our mindset. They are about our thinking. They are about our ability to manage our daily work operations, our mental health, navigating social situations, and our understanding of personal biases.”

And specifically, “power skills are less-defined skills such as leadership, productivity, personal development, strategic thinking, listening, and communication.”

Looking for power skills, as well as working to develop these skills through empathetic hiring and upskilling, is the direction that hiring managers are moving toward these days. And for good reason! These skills make for great employees.

What are power skills? These “soft” skills have always been sought after, but were not defined as power skills in the past… Yet having these abilities has proved critical for performance once the candidate was in the role itself.

Today, these are the skills candidates need to help them get hired and succeed in complex work environments.

There are a number of power skills (such as addressed in the Medium article above) which serve as helpful in work development, no matter the role a candidate takes on — such as business writing, personal development (in having a mindset geared toward improvement), wellness/fitness (for optimized performance), and time management.

These power skills are key in helping create a well-rounded employee that thrives in their position and serves their company well.

But by far the most important of the power skills are critical thinking, along with problem solving, which are guided by the skill of productivity. For employees who want to excel, the power skill of leadership development helps them effectively manage teams, and grooms talent for promotion within the organization.

Why employers are seeking these skills today

Flexibility is key in a changing work environment, and the mindset of openness to change and skill development is what employers are looking for. These abilities in employees create great benefits for companies as they grow.

According to the New York Institute of Finance, “Having employees with strong power skills helps companies in many ways. For example, it translates to clear and effective communication, better team relationships, effective problem solving, and greater innovation and creativity because of a curious frame of mind.”

And this leads to increased productivity and profitability, as this source further states:  “According to an MIT Sloan research study, power skills training on communication, problem-solving, and better decision-making yielded a 250 percent ROI over just eight months, which is impressive.”

The reality is that no one knows what the new world of work will look like, and whether some industries stay remote, hybrid, or if we revert back to pre-pandemic office cultures. And that’s why these power skills are so important, as they are flexible. And employees can use them across different tasks and roles across an organization.

Why Tulsa is best situated to take advantage of this opportunity 

Today hiring managers are looking past what is just on the paper in front of them. They want a candidate who will grow and develop with the organization. Many of the candidates we work with have meaningful, valuable life experiences, as well as other skills from professions which could help themto excel in the tech roles of the future.

The most important trait — and this is not a given today, as so much comes easy in our society with the touch of a button — is that the candidates come with an open mind to learn and develop new skills. This is a trait which candidates in Tulsa offer, and one which sets them up for success.  

Along with an open mind, and the desire to improve, at inTulsa we work to upskill many of the candidates. In roles that require skills such as sales (time management), and engineering (productivity), power skills are a natural fit.

What is empowering about developing power skills is that no matter what a candidate’s background is, they can learn many of these skills. Remember, it’s good to look for talented people who are ready to grow.

Additionally, the concept of talent stacking proves relevant here as well. According to to the TalentQuest website, talent stacking is defined as: 

“A combination of skills that build off each other to make you unique and valuable.”  The article goes on to state that “Society deems things valuable if they are rare. By combining two or more skills that you are ‘pretty good’ at, you can transform skills that may appear mundane on their own into skills that are unique and valuable. Now, throw in something you are passionate about, and you have a recipe for growth and success!”

When candidates are able to use their talents and power skills, and multiply them, that’s a powerful recipe for talent stacking as an attractive candidate.

Empowering local candidates 

Upskilling and coaching local candidates is a focus of ours at inTulsa. But equally critical is developing an environment where candidates feel that they can apply for these types of tech jobs.

There are skills which many of these candidates already have from previous professional experiences, which could be defined as power skills, as well as the openness to learn new abilities. Both are equally important once the person is in a role.

Not everyone has the confidence to apply for the tech jobs of the future, and there needs to be an environment where candidates feel comfortable putting themselves out there, which is part of the work we do at inTulsa.