Older Workers: Wow Employers with Innovation, Creativity

Experienced techies, who can demonstrate a history of solving problems through innovation and creativity, may have an advantage over younger job seekers in a competitive labor market. According to the recently released research report The Ill-Prepared U.S. Workforce, 68.6 percent of employers say recent grads lack the ability to demonstrate originality, can’t communicate new ideas or integrate knowledge across disciplines.

Innovation CreativityThe study – jointly undertaken by the Conference Board, the American Society for Training & Development, Corporate Voices for Working Families and the Society for Human Resources Management – reveals 91.7 percent of the 217 responding employers said critical thinking and problem-solving skills were lacking in new grads. As a consequence, many are developing training programs to teach them, although they admit training workers for intangible qualities like creativity is difficult.

The survey also points to the value of obtaining a college education: Almost 34 percent of the employers said recent high school grads were deficiently prepared to enter the workforce. About 22 percent said graduates of two-year college programs were ill-prepared. Some 17 percent said graduates of four-year programs were deficiently prepared.

Here’s the complete list of areas employers say needs to be closed through education and training:

  • Ethics/social responsibility
  • Professionalism/work ethic
  • Lifelong learning/self-direction
  • Creativity/innovation
  • Critical thinking/problem solving


Think about these. When you have opportunities to bulk up your knowledge in one of these area, take advantage of it.You could end up impressing your next boss.


— Leslie Stevens-Huffman