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How to Hire a Knowledge Worker

The term “knowledge worker” was coined over fifty years ago by Peter Drucker in his book, The Landmarks of Tomorrow. Drucker predicted workers who relied on analytical and creative skills would soon out-earn and outweigh blue-collar workers, and he was right. Of course, he couldn’t have predicted that most of the way Americans earn a living would be done online, but he did have a hunch that the future of work was going to shift from skilled laborers to knowledge-based workers. 

With the rise of the traditional four-year degree amongst millennials, and then the decline in popularity of the four-year degree amongst Gen Xers, hiring managers are increasingly tasked with weeding out skills that may or may not be relevant to the job they’re trying to hire for. 

Here’s how to effectively hire a knowledge worker in your organization. 

  1. Write a skills-based job description. You can’t hire a knowledge worker if you don’t know what skills they need to perform to do their job effectively. Bringing some clarity to the needs of the organization before interviewing candidates is critical to putting the right person in the role. 
  2. Include soft-skills in the job description. Emotional intelligence is just as important as technical skills, so making sure that a candidate knows how to lead and communicate - both online and off - is important in putting the right candidate in the right role. Since knowledge work is typically subjective, making sure that the candidate you’re interviewing can handle feedback and constructive criticism sets everyone up for success. 
  3. Verify their skills. Digital credentials are a great way to quickly, and securely, verify that someone knows how to do exactly what they said they can do. As a hiring manager, it’s important that self-reported skills can actually be performed on the job. This includes soft-skills as well, which can be vetted with digital credentials. 

The demand for skilled workers, both knowledge-based and manual, is high. The shift to jobs that are predominantly done online and virtually is gaining popularity and traction with a younger generation, and syncing skills to hiring needs (through digital credentials) is a great way to ensure organizational longevity and adaptability. 

If you’re interested in learning more about issuing digital credentials, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.