Versatility Powers Success – But Finding it in New Hires A Recruitment Challenge

Recruiters Say Communications Skills are Most Important, but Hard to Find

When Bloomberg BusinessWeek asked more than 1,200 corporate recruiters what skills they want in business school graduates, the answer wasn’t strategic thinking, leadership or even problem-solving.  What they cited as the most were communication skills!

And not only were communications skills the most desired, they were also among the least common skills among graduates.  In fact, the Bloomberg study describes this as the Skills Gap and identifies which business schools are hitting the “Sweet Spot” by developing those skills which are most important but harder to find.  Not surprisingly many of those Sweet Spot schools have incorporated SOCIAL STYLE and Versatility training from TRACOM.  This includes top Bloomberg-ranked schools University of North Carolina, Columbia, Harvard and the University of Toronto.

Bloomberg Business graph of Most Desired Skills by Recruiters 2018

Bloomberg Business graph of Most Desired Skills by Recruiters 2018

Versatility is the application of communication skills in the workplace.  It’s the learnable ability to develop effective relationships with other people including customers, managers, team members and direct reports.  The Versatility component of TRACOM’s SOCIAL STYLE Model differentiates it from other interpersonal and communications programs.

Top Schools Choose SOCIAL STYLE

The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School is consistently ranked among North America’s best and uses SOCIAL STYLE in a number of courses and programs.

“Students find the insights provided by SOCIAL STYLE to be truly transformational,” said Clinical Professor Judy Tisdale of UNC.   “We use several assessments throughout our programs, but I find that SOCIAL STYLE is the most effective. It takes a concept that is complex and makes it easy to understand, breaking everything down into four quadrants to learn about behavioral Style and Versatility – how our behavioral Style impacts our actions as well as how others’ Styles impact their own actions and preferences.”

Many experts find that behavioral style and communication skills are even more important in today’s global and technology-driven environment.  The prestigious Columbia University was an early adopter of teaching Versatility to business students.

“For over twenty years I have incorporated SOCIAL STYLE concepts into my teaching of MBA courses and executive education programs at the Columbia Graduate School of Business,” said William M. Klepper, PhD. Academic Director, Executive Education Professor of Management, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University.  “Today, Style continues to be at the core of my teaching.”

For Dr. Klepper the insights provided by SOCIAL STYLE are eye-opening.  “I don’t let anyone do anything in terms of exploring leadership before they first explore themselves.” 

Versatility is the Sweet Spot in Driving Performance

Whether taught in business schools or as part of corporate learning initiatives, SOCIAL STYLE and Versatility are proven to improve leadership and managerial performance.  One study found that managers with higher Versatility outperformed low Versatility counterparts in key areas including:

  • 27% better at leading teams
  • 25% better at coaching others
  • 19% more likely to be promoted

TRACOM offers SOCIAL STYLE profiles and courses specifically designed for managers as well as for salespeople and general audiences.

*Author note: Sean Essex is part of TRACOM’s marketing team.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management which is ranked #3 in the most recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek rankings of business schools.