Entry-level employees are becoming less proficient in the skills most needed to succeed in today’s workplace, according to a recent national survey of human resources (HR) managers responsible for hiring.
The survey, sponsored by leading early education provider Primrose Schools, revealed skills like adaptability, teamwork and problem solving are critical to workplace success.
Yet, 70 percent of seasoned HR managers report that entry-level employees are rarely proficient in these skills.
According to the survey, critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, self-control, adaptability and working memory – collectively referred to by educators as executive function skills – are more highly valued in entry-level candidates than technical abilities, academic background and other factors.
And while respondents state that entry-level employees are rarely proficient in these skills, two-thirds say hiring entry-level employees with good executive function skills is a top priority for their company’s long-term success.
Research indicates that these skills will only become more valued in our rapidly changing world. A Hay Group study cited by Forbes shows that 90 percent of employers worldwide believe skills like self-control and teamwork will become increasingly important as society evolves.
Unfortunately, one in four HR managers surveyed says entry-level employees are becoming less proficient in these skills over time, and the majority of those surveyed agree executive function skills are difficult to teach.
Capitalizing on the rapid brain growth that takes place during the first five years of life may offer the solution.
The Harvard Center on the Developing Child reports that children’s early life experiences influence their capacity for executive function skills, and laying the foundation for such skills is one of the most important tasks of the early childhood years.
Primrose Schools provides early education and care to children and families in the United States. Founded in 1982, there are more than 350 Primrose schools in 29 states today.