Overheard

ASU+GSV Summit 2021: Joseph B. Fuller on meeting the needs of employers

Leaders in education and tech leaders share innovative ideas about what lies ahead
By Laura Aka
August 9, 2021

As we continue efforts to recover from the pandemic, business leaders are looking for several things as they hire, according to Joseph B. Fuller, professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. A combination of hard and soft skills, and more diverse, inclusive workforce.

Fuller says companies need to be proactively thinking about who they are looking to add to their payroll. “Employers have to accept the fact that candidates aren’t just going to drop out of the sky and be available to them with a skills profile they want. Willing to work for what they’re prepared to pay.”

“Companies needed to adopt a supply chain management-type approach to this. Meaning, they’ve identified sources of people with the skills that fit their needs. They’ve cultivated a relationship with that group. Whether it’s a skills intermediary at community college or private sector training company. They’ve thought ahead about what their demands are for skills and that they’re not constantly relying on the spot market for labor to fill urgent needs.”

Fuller also notes that learning with long-term social impact should start at an early age. “If you look at the way we approach education in K through 12, we don’t design our curriculum to cause people to develop better social skills starting in the earliest part of their educational cycle.”

“We don’t design curriculums to emphasize the types of social skills that are really going to be critical to getting on pathways, to good paying jobs, and keeping them in the future. It’s a big opportunity for innovation in both education and the commercial space.”

Click here to learn more about Harvard Business School.

WorkingNation—a collaborating partner of the ASU+GSV Summit—sat down with Fuller in San Diego as part of our #WorkingNationOverheard social media series.

Hear from more innovators in education and tech in the public, private, and nonprofit spheres attending the ASU+GSV Summit 2021 here.

Follow the conversation on social media: #asugsvsummit #workingnationoverheard