How to Make Hiring Critical Thinkers Easier

Critical-thinking microcredentials can help businesses find the right job candidates and keep valued employees around longer.

An office worker sits at his desk in front of his computer and appears to be thinking.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A bad hire can be a costly mistake. I’ve seen it time and again in my 30 years as a founder and CEO of tech companies. Even the most highly qualified, technically skilled, reliable workers can fall short as employees. You’ve probably experienced it, too: the good-on-paper candidate who can’t translate their knowledge into sound decisions. The co-worker who shows up to meetings unprepared, waiting for their teammates to present solutions. The recent grad who’s overwhelmed by the day-to-day realities of a workplace.

What’s missing? Often, it’s those vital “durable skills” — like critical thinking, creativity, collaboration — that make all the difference. Some may consider these to be personality traits. But one thing you discover when you run an edtech company is that it’s possible to teach people these kinds of really complex concepts. And, maybe even more important, it’s possible to quantify and measure how well they’ve mastered them. This is great news for hiring managers and HR teams — and for employees who want to expand their career opportunities.

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David McCool
President and CEO, Muzzy Lane

David McCool is President and CEO of Muzzy Lane, which recently introduced SkillBuild and was awarded 1EdTech™'s Gold Learning Impact Award. Since founding the company, Dave’s goal has been to build technology that empowers authors to create compelling online experiences and helps students practice skills with guidance and feedback.