How should the next generation of employees be?


I recently read a news article (in Norwegian) that "the ability to cooperate" was essentially the only requirement for applicants, which was just as relevant 50 years ago as it is today, while energetic and representable was now almost absent compared to then.

Given sites like,,, etc. I cannot but imagine that the multidimensional globalization (exchanging ideas, network, Q&A, etc.) they lead to, have changed the characteristics of the best employees. My assumption is that these sites makes employees more efficient and effective, but also require different skills in order for employees to succeed in generating value from them.

My question Have the online tools like the ones above changed your requirements when you consider a candidate?

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Recruiting Employees Tools Human Resources

asked May 20 '11 at 20:26
1,567 points
  • Essentially, yes. I have modified the question a bit to set the context. – David 13 years ago
  • Can you post the original article for reference? By "in Scandivian," from which of the nordic countries and in which of the nordic languages did your citation come from? – Nicko 13 years ago
  • Here is the reference in Norwegian: 13 years ago
  • Tack. er. Thanks. – Nicko 13 years ago

4 Answers


In the past 20 years information has become easily available, therefore skills like expertise and factual knowledge lost most of their value (except where deep expertise is required).

Those skills are now replaced with Critical Thinking. One doesn't need to use their brain for storing information, but instead for breaking down complex problems into small ones and finding solutions.

Solutions can come from a google or twitter search, from finding an expert on LinkedIn or asking the community on a site like this one.

Desire to succeed + ability to think of your feet > ton of education + book smarts

answered May 21 '11 at 00:38
Tim Nikolaev
176 points
  • +1, though reductionist (breaking down a problem into smaller pieces) is being overused in my opinion. System thinking is the opposite way of thinking as far as I have understood. – David 13 years ago


In short, no, my requirements haven't changed. For me, candidates need to:

  • be smart
  • get stuff done
  • have an aptitude for the intended role
  • fit well culturally into the work environment
  • be smart!

Whilst I'm a big fan of various online tools it hasn't changed any of my recruitment requirements one bit.

answered May 21 '11 at 01:37
2,333 points


I've been on a hiring spree, so far these have been my factors, one thing to consider, since analyzing if a person is 'smart' is not really feasible in my opinion you are just gauging if the person is NOT DUMB. The rest is all charisma and shared cultural background.

  1. Internet savvy By this I mean that they know how to really find things online and use this incredible source of information correctly. Know about social media, I really believe this is the new 'reading and writing' for most roles.
  2. Self-taught This shows me the person has the capacity to learn, I usually put applicants in tough spots to really understand what they would do if they do not possess the knowledge that is needed for X task. The good ones will find a solution for you, even if its not the best one.
  3. Cultural fit for the company This is a random variable, I've seen many companies screen for this with the way their job description is worded. This includes being a go-getter, it all depends with the culture you are creating.
  4. Fanatism I want a person who loves what they do, the kind of person who you know reads and updates him/herself on their free time for the simple fact that it is part of their identity. Having a genuine interest on what they do is crucial and separates the regular from the ones that will make a BIG IMPACT in your company.

I also found this other answer that nails it here on Answers.onstartups How do you recruit top talent for your company

answered Jun 3 '11 at 19:04
Ale Focardi
184 points
  • +1 I just think this is a really good answer. Especially the self-taught one which is completely opposite to the traditional companies, who go for the most educated candidates. – David 13 years ago


Depends on the position. If I were to try and determine capacity for success:

  • be smart
  • not an ass
  • owns a smart phone
  • has a linkedin, facebook, and/or twitter account(s)

From that perspective - my ideal candidate has changed because I want someone who stays abreast of technology on their own. Technology changes to fast to allow for a lack of technology interest.

answered May 21 '11 at 04:34
Chris Kluis
1,225 points

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