Design Thinking: The Most In-demand Skills in the Job Market When it comes to hiring, recruiters, therefore, seek someone who has the ability to take timely decisions and generate creative ideas to resolve existing and new issues at the workplace

By Sameer A.M

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Up until a decade or two ago, most companies took a standardised approach to hire talents. The HR department posted a detailed job analysis along with a list of skill sets required for the role. This was followed by a shortlisting of potential candidates based on their professional and personal backgrounds. And, the last step involved the extensive interview process which often went for over a month. Cut to 2019; the recruitment industry has undergone a massive transformation.

With the workforce becoming increasingly globalized, the hiring process, too, has changed drastically to meet the requirements of new generation jobs. These changing times mandate a shift in how companies hire and retain talents. In today's increasingly digital era, hiring managers are looking beyond the academic qualifications of candidates. Despite the fuss over grades, good grades alone are not enough. There is an increasing emphasis on skills such as design thinking, problem-solving, adaptability and empathy – all of which are indispensable to current as well as future job roles.

Design Thinking and Problem-solving in Today's Evolving Job Market

Whether a company requires a software developer or an interior designer, design thinking is identified as an essential skill irrespective of the job role. Wikipedia defines design thinking as the cognitive, strategic and practical processes by which design concepts (proposals for new products, buildings, machines, etc.) are developed by designers and/or design teams. However, it's more than that. Design thinking is essentially a problem-solving method which follows a systematic approach. It is also referred to as a way to identify challenges, gather relevant information, come up with potential solutions, refine ideas and then test the solutions. The core concepts of design thinking include empathy, brainstorming, prototyping and storytelling.

When it comes to hiring, recruiters, therefore, seek someone who has the ability to take timely decisions and generate creative ideas to resolve existing and new issues at the workplace. This explains why leading companies are focussing more on interactive methods of discussion than the age-old interrogative rhetoric interview process. While the latter only explores a candidate's technical skills, interactive discussions help the recruiter to have a deep understanding of his/her design thinking capacity.

How to Test a Candidate's Design Thinking and Problem-solving Abilities

A candidate may have all the required skill sets but can still perform poorly in a job. This is because he/she may lack in design thinking, which is crucial for many job roles of today. Now, the question is – How can recruiters test a job applicant's design thinking ability? A few organizations have already started exploring various ways to understand how an applicant uses his/her skills, experience and technical ability while finding realistic solutions to a particular problem. Specially curated tests, for example, can be used to effectively determine someone's design thinking and problem-solving skills.

Design thinking is no longer just associated with the design world, as it can be strategically implemented across various industries to solve complex problems. Hence, hiring employees with design thinking and problem-solving skills is not an option for companies; it's a necessity. However, the responsibility of recruiters extends beyond hiring. They must create an environment which promotes empathy, experimentation, open-mindedness and out-of-the-box thinking.

Sameer A.M

CEO & Founder of Bonito Designs

Related Topics

Data & Recovery

Save $899 on This Guest Wi-Fi Solution That Offers You Plenty of Perks

Get marketing info while offering Wi-Fi to guests and customers with this tool, now $599.99 for life.

Starting a Business

7 Lessons I Learned From Selling a 6-Figure Blogging Business

Here are a few critical lessons from my experience building and selling a successful blogging business.


If You Want People to Follow You, Stop Being a Boss — 8 Steps to Truly Effective Leadership

Understand the key differences and embark on the journey from boss to leader with these eight vital steps. This article unveils how to inspire and lead teams with passion and purpose.

Business News

An Hermès Heir Wants to Give Half His $12 Billion Fortune to His Gardener—and Lawyers Are Going Nuts

Nicolas Puech, the grandson of Hermès' founder, intends to legally adopt the 51-year-old former groundskeeper as his son, ensuring he inherits his billions.

Side Hustle

He Launched His Creative Side Hustle Out of a Garage. Now It's Worth $225 Million.

Tom Humble, CXO and founder of E.C.D. Automotive Design, followed his passion for custom auto design into big business.