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Why Critical Thinking Is So Important In A Candidate
Candidates come in many shapes and sizes, with different experiences and talents. The most requested, and by far most popular, skills clients tell us they’re looking for in a candidate is critical thinking, problem-solving, and logic. Many key executive-level, and even individual contributor, positions require candidates to have a high degree of critical thinking to be successful in their roles.
Pearson identifies critical thinking as the #1 workplace skill and finds that those who exhibit this skill are also rated by their superiors as having a good handle on analysis and problem solving, good judgment and decision-making, and increased potential for growth within an organization, among other favorable qualities. Another study from Pew Research claims that 87% of workers believe it is critical to develop new job skills and training, like communication, interpersonal management, analytical skills, and critical thinking, to keep up with changes in the workplace. The American Management Association claimed that over 70% of managers actively screen for critical thinking and related skills in their hiring and assessment process.
Candidates who are high on critical thinking and reasoning are likely to be innovative, bringing new ideas and creative solutions to even the toughest business challenges. Pearson has identified a 3-component model that explains what makes candidates high in critical thinking so successful. The acronym for this model is RED and is explained as follows:
- Recognize Assumptions
- Evaluate Arguments
- Draw Conclusions
Candidates who have a high degree of critical thinking are able to determine the truth from fiction (R) through careful and objective analysis of the information presented (E) and then determine a solution or course of action using the information gathered in this process (D).
Critical thinking can be taught or improved on too, by employing techniques such as asking good questions to gather more information from any sources available, remaining objective and seeing things from multiple angles, hypothesizing multiple creative solutions to a problem, and considering the outcomes of each solution and their long-term effects.
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