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Lucy Adams: when hiring HR should consider the 'finished product'

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When hiring for a technical role, HR should consider what they want the finished product to be rather than focusing solely on technical skills

This is according to Lucy Adams, managing director of communications agency Firehouse Productions and founder of HR consultancy Disruptive HR.

“You have to consider their other skills too,” the former BBC HR director told HR magazine. “For example, if you need a web developer consider your website, how it is used, the search and navigation functions, the visuals. You don’t just want a technology whizz kid, you need to consider the front-end of the finished product.”

Speaking at the Rakuten Future Forum in London, Adams added that the way to overcome the rapid churn of technology is to encourage children to want to continue learning. “Schools should try to instil a sense of curiosity [in students], a desire for them to find out information by themselves,” she said.

Henry Lane Fox, co-founder and CEO of entrepreneur network Founders Factory and co-founder of holiday website Lastminute.com, described how it is possible to involve children in technical education from an early age. “My seven-year-old son used a drag and drop interface to make a computer game,” he said. “Now many children are interested in games like Minecraft. It’s a good start.”

Kathryn Parsons, co-CEO at digital training organisation Decoded, described how her team (originally expected to be made up of technically skilled employees) soon became a mixture of artists, linguists and musicians as well as those with taught technical ability. “They were drawn to technology as a creative tool,” she said.

She also warned of a widening gap in the technology industry between managers and employees. “There is such a divide between the people with the skills, and those without who are at the helm of the ship,” she said. “It can be impossible to lead if you don’t know what questions to be asking.”