Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
This unit group includes those who provide services to management such as analyzing the operations, managerial methods or functions of an organization in order to propose plan and implement improvements, or analyzing advertising needs and developing appropriate advertising plans. They are employed by management consulting firms, advertising agencies and throughout the public and private sectors or are self-employed.
- Realize that project deadlines will be missed because of delays in obtaining important data. They meet project managers and clients to outline the reasons for delays and negotiate new deadlines. (2)
- Are unable to complete job tasks because office equipment is not working properly. For example, a consultant cannot deliver a proposal because the office printer is not working. The consultant refers to the user manual to troubleshoot the equipment. (2)
- Find that key members of their project teams cannot attend important upcoming meetings. If they cannot modify meeting arrangements, they organize telephone conferences so that all members can participate in discussions. (2)
- Read draft reports that do not meet quality standards for content or writing style. They forward detailed comments and suggestions to writers and determine deadlines for submission of second drafts. They then review to verify that all corrections have been made, and depending on their quality, may ask for additional changes, accept as they are or reject them. (3)
- Select tasks to assign to junior consultants and subcontractors on their project teams. They consider their individual knowledge, skills, strengths, weaknesses, work experiences, interests and availabilities. (2)
- Choose graph types to illustrate findings from project data analyses. They consider the strengths and limitations of each graph type for displaying particular types of data, messages they want to emphasize and level of technical expertise of their audiences. (2)
- Decide to bid on specific management or promotion consulting projects. They review 'requests for proposals', identify project tasks and requirements, and bid only on projects for which they have the necessary skills and resources. (3)
- Choose methods, times, locations and durations of training employees who will have to implement promotional campaigns and organizational changes. They may have to study the cost and feasibility of several different options for each and consider the need to replace workers during training. They often find that past decisions provide only limited guidance since training needs are rarely the same. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
- Assess the satisfaction of participants with focus group and training sessions conducted. At the end of sessions, they facilitate feedback discussions. They may also determine assessment criteria and distribute evaluation forms to be completed by participants. (3)
- Evaluate the completeness and clarity of standards, regulatory codes, procedures and other documents written to assist client organizations in operations, quality, performance and environmental management. They ensure that crucial information has not been omitted and wording is not open to misinterpretation. (3)
- Evaluate the performance of junior consultants and subcontractors on their project teams. As part of the assessments, they determine the extent to which consultants and subcontractors have achieved their various project tasks and adhered to plans, schedules and timelines. Their conclusions may lead to recommendations for new project assignments and further training. (3)
- Assess the effectiveness of advertising messages and media, product packaging and other promotional tools in reaching new or current customers' spending thresholds. For example, promotion consultants may analyze the content and cadence of proposed advertising messages. They may conduct focus group meetings to evaluate the messages' emotional appeal to target markets and also gather information about competitors' messages for comparisons. (4)
- Lead teams which evaluate the ability of organizations to fulfill mandates. They determine evaluation variables which may include employees' skills and performance, knowledge transfer, management frameworks, logic models, reporting relationships, work flows and organizational objectives and benchmarks using information from similar organizations. They collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data on these variables. They write reports, in which they describe evaluation methodologies, discuss findings, offer conclusions and recommend changes to clients' business methods, policies, processes, procedures, systems and programs. (4)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Professionals in business services to management work in dynamic environments with many conflicting demands on their time. Their work is team oriented so they must integrate their own tasks and work schedules with those of many consultants, subcontractors and clients to address project objectives. Their ability to work on several projects at the same time and manage priorities is critical to their jobs. Delays in getting contracts signed or receiving essential project information, pressures from project managers and clients, equipment breakdowns and other emergencies force them to frequently reorganize job tasks. (3)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Professionals in business services to management play a central role in organizing, planning, scheduling and monitoring the activities of project teams and contribute to the long-term and strategic planning of public and private sector organizations. They may be responsible for assigning tasks to junior consultants, subcontractors and clerical staff. (3)
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember security codes to access computers and networks.
- Remember the names, specialization areas, interests and concerns of the many consultants, subcontractors and clients to save time, facilitate communication, develop positive relationships and build trust.
- Find information about past consulting projects by searching reports, files and archives. (2)
- Find information about potential clients, subcontractors and competitors by searching their websites, visiting their premises and interviewing colleagues who know them. (3)
- Find information to address client needs and project objectives by conducting extensive literature searches. They must analyze, synthesize and integrate information from a wide range of sources, including the Internet, to assess business environments and develop innovative strategies. (4)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Professionals in business services to management coordinate and integrate job tasks with project teams comprising clients, subcontractors and other consultants. They work closely with clients to assess needs, collect information, define consulting mandates and monitor the progress of projects. They prepare proposals, identify project objectives, develop plans and presentations, analyze information, and write reports in conjunction with team members. They may supervise and train junior consultants, subcontractors and clerical staff who assist them. (3)
Continuous learning is an integral part of the job of professionals in business services to management. They are expected to keep abreast of what is happening in the business community and further their knowledge of managerial and promotional methods, processes, technologies and strategies. On a day-to-day basis, they acquire new learning by discussing projects with co-workers and colleagues, browsing the Internet and reading newspapers, trade publications, manuals and reports on standards, objectives, policies and procedures. They also attend conferences, seminars, symposia, trade shows, workshops and courses on topics relevant to their consulting areas. They may be required by their employers to develop their own learning plans. (3)