Employers will increasingly look for “people skills” to fill jobs.
But they’ll also want to look for a “person-to-person” or “people-to-” mechanic to help employees connect with customers, according to a new report by technology consulting firm McKinsey & Co. McKinsey is projecting that between 25 and 35% of hiring decisions will be made on the basis of how people interact with one another.
“When it comes to hiring, there’s no one-size-fits-all,” said John Schiller, a vice president of human resources at McKinsey who is an associate professor of management at the University of California, San Diego.
“The person-to person is an extremely important component of the equation.
We’re going to see that become a more important component as technology becomes more integrated into the workforce.”
For example, in a study conducted by McKinsey in 2014, the company found that while technology may be replacing the traditional job of a salesperson, it is still the preferred way to help people make purchases and communicate with customers.
But that’s only part of the picture, Schiller said.
“We’re also going to be seeing that we need to have people who are going to help the customer in all the different ways that we’re talking about, whether that’s communicating, being the point person, providing information about the products or services that they’re interested in, or even just being in the customer service role.”
So employers will need to look beyond just hiring the best person, he said.
To make that decision, they will need “to assess the skills of the person, the person’s personality, their knowledge of the business, and their ability to make those decisions and act on them.”
For some employees, this will be a challenge.
“They’re going through some sort of transition, and they’re going from the office to the living room and they want to connect with their family,” said Mary Estrada, an associate director at McKinley.
“That’s going to take time, and it’s going be difficult.”
For those people, the next step will be finding out how to best help them connect with people in the workplace, and that will likely involve talking to them about their job, how to communicate with them, and how to take care of them when they have a medical emergency.
The McKinsey report suggests that employers may be looking for a variety of skills, including the ability to work from home, manage people, and interact with others in a group.
And in some cases, that might mean using technology to help make that transition.
“There’s definitely going to need to be a need to find ways to accommodate this,” Schiller added.