The Pepelwerk Podcast Ep. 5 - Talent vs Attributes
Hello everyone. It is Kim Kelley, the CEO of pepelwerk, with our fifth podcast. Today’s podcast is for our talent. We are talking about what are skills and what are attributes. And believe me, there is enough for both of sides of the conversations to talk about. But if you’re an employer and you’re listening to this, I encourage you to read this week’s blog on culture to further advance what you’re doing to get connected to work in a skills centric environment and really just throwing away the concept of resume for everyone.
On that note, I’m going to talk about what I have found were three successful models that I was incredibly excited to hear about for some of our early employer adopters. They’ve started to look at our platform and figure out what roles they’re going to put on the platform. And I love the fact that one, they’re listening. They know and they understand that pepelwerk is there to help them as employers but talent, why this is important to you is because slowly but surely employers are starting to get it. If you are somebody who has a skill or is just trying to get into the work market and you’re graduating high school, you’re in college or you’re, wherever you’re at in your life, you’ve got a different way of wanting to express what you can bring to the work environment, then this is the place for you to be and learn and grow. And our employers are catching up. It’s amazing, it’s great.
So what is a skill? A skill is basically something that you can do. You use your hands, your body or your brain to accomplish a task. That’s really it. And when you think of what skills are for you, and I know it’s really hard, even when you’re in high school and you’re hearing from your career counselor that you figure out how to create a resume. I’m sorry, you don’t have any experience yet so you have no resume. What skills are are not what people put on a resume. Those are accomplishments that leave you with the impression that you have skills. At pepelwerk we think of resumes as your personal blog to highlight accomplishments, not something to that is useful when you’re just starting out and certainly won’t capture your potential.
And that’s true whether or not you are somebody who is a programmer, which when you think of skills it can be things like that. You’re a computer programmer, you understand how to wash dishes, you are a graphic designer. Those are skills that you have. You can use a wrench to fix a toilet. Whatever it is, there are skills that you have. Even if you’re a stay at home mom and you want to get back into the work force, project management. That is a skill that you’ve had to acquire over being a stay at home mom.
So think of the things that you can do physically and mentally to complete a task. That’s what a skill is. Problem solving, attention to detail. Those are all skills that obviously no one really knows if you have them until you’re put to the test. So if you don’t really have an idea of what your skills are, especially as you’re going through creating your profile, ask somebody. Ask somebody what they think your skills are. It’s funny when I’ve read resumes before and I say okay, what are your skills, it really trips people up to not think of themselves in this full sentence, picturesque persona of whatever creative writing they put on their resume. Just ask somebody and they’ll be able to tell you the truth. Most people will tell you the truth.
Then when you think about the difference between your attributes and what your skills are, your attributes talk about the quality, your quality and your character and your characteristics that you have as part of who you are. So an attribute for somebody who has a, who wants to get to work on time, that’s really an attribute because punctuality is important to you. So you want to get to work on time. If you are a patient person versus an inpatient person, those are attributes to your character. If you actively listen or if you are somebody who who has a belief in a certain thing, those are the attributes to what make you up that also bring additional value.
And then even just as, we’ll throw in the little kicker here to the conversation, we have interests. And I’m so excited because this week we have our talent focus video to show you exactly how you can get the best value out of creating your talent profile with all of these different sections in mind. And your interests are really what gauge you because if you don’t want to do something, if you do not have an interest is doing a particular thing, you’re just not going to do it. That’s just the reality of human nature. You have to want to do something. You have to have an interest in doing something. So if you have an interest in animal husbandry and you have a skill of a programmer, you could have a job opportunity within the zoo to create a software program that allows zoo ongoers to purchase tickets faster. Something like that. You have no idea how the combination of your interests, your skills and your attributes come together to find the work life that you want. And of course that’s really what we’ve designed pepelwerk to do.
And I loved the conversations that happened. If you’re a high school, you’re not watching CNBC but if you’re a college student, I hope you’re watching some sort of business network or getting information from Reddit that’s unbiased and untainted and just being very raw and direct to you because that’s what we should expect from our news sources. But Squawk on the Street released, had a conversation led by Becky Quick who interviewed a staffing agency and just to capture their opinion on what employers need to do to be responsive in a talent job market. And what that means for you as our listeners, because the job market is, because our unemployment rate is so low, we actually have more choice as talent to pick the work and for who we work for in a plethora of ways compared to what happens when the unemployment rate is high.
So when the unemployment rate is high you have just too many people looking for the same job. But when the unemployment rate is low, you have not enough people to fill all of those jobs. So what do you do as an employer? And the response of the CEO of this staffing agency, of course it did make me giggle and it made me want to yell at the screen, pepelwerk is here, we’re here to provide the solution and action to all of this just empty conversation because empty conversation has been happening for way too long. This is why we are a skills based platform, for generalist, trade and technical roles, from all the way of getting into the work market to being an expert at a trade or a technical skill.
But his response was that employers really don’t need to be overly responsive, and I do agree with that. I don’t think we need to keep bobbing and weaving to try to make everyone happy as employers. I don’t think that that’s fair for employers. But what I thought was interesting was the response of both of the hostess and the CEO was that what happens to talent when the market is flipped? When the employers go back to having a plethora of choices out of talent and they’re not waiting for just another person to come into their company? And of course the thought for me is that’s great because as a talent member of pepelwerk we make sure you’re working and you’re staying relevant as much as we possibly can. So that scenario doesn’t really apply when you’re looking at work from a skills based perspective.
And I have to respect Mike Rowe, the actor who started off the conversation of skills based work in 2003. Of course, his conversation is really focused on the dirty jobs, what has been traditionally called the blue collar jobs. But for this next generation, it’s just simply called work. It’s by work of interest whether or not you understand waste management or you’re making bullets, I don’t know. He covers all of those things. But the focus of his conversation is always about how are we really educating our next generation to fill the jobs that we need as a society? And really, obviously if you’re creating a platform that is 100% focused on the skills of a person and forcing, really forcing employers to get out of that whole job description fantasy thing that we’ve just been responding to on job boards, then you make that connection to skills much quicker, much sooner and with a lot less pain for both sides of the conversation.
So thank you very much for listening this week. I really appreciate all of our users that have come on to our platform. If you’ve clicked on our podcast before, thank you for being another listener. Make sure to please put your comments and suggestions into the comment box. Remember, I don’t really acknowledge nasty grams. I’ll take constructive criticism and really address any of your concerns. Pay, how you get pay, what is this whole conversation about gender equality, I mean we can talk about whatever it is that interests you because we want to be that source of the working world around you that is unbiased and really encouraging employers and talent to come to the table equally to advance our work life.
Remember, we give you the tools. It’s up to you how you use them.