“Critical thinking.” It’s a phrase as vague as “results-oriented individual” or “problem-solver.” Companies call for job applicants that are both worker bees and world-class innovators, prepared to paint outside the lines—but only in the brand’s monochromatic colors.
According to an American Management Association survey, 72% of employers feel that critical thinking is key to their organization’s success, but only half of those surveyed said their employees actually show this skill.
“Thinking about your thinking, while you’re thinking, in order to improve your thinking.”
When hiring managers want critical thinkers, what do they really mean?
In an attempt to clear up the term’s vague definition, the Wall Street Journal recently spoke with social science professionals, hiring managers, and job-seekers to find the real definition of the term.