The impact of COVID-19 has been huge for professionals; worldwide economies and nations including India have plunged into recession, millions have lost their jobs, businesses went bankrupt, and those who survived are barely able to make their ends meet. As we navigate our way into the uncertain times, it is still not clear which aspects of work-life will return to normal and which will be changed partially or completely. In times like these, people who are able to adapt and adjust to this new world will survive and reach the top in the long run.
Organizations always expect their employees to adapt to the changing environment around them and accept innovative ideas. The skills that recruiters continuously seek while hiringin the candidate as requisitesinclude agility and a positive attitude. A prospective employee who has a positive outlook towards his/her work and goes all the way to learn new ways to reach targets and goals is a boon to the company.
It is necessary for all the candidates to upgrade themselves with the skills for the future which include excellent communication skills, technical skills and high emotional intelligence along with a positive attitude. Candidates need to invest in the skills that will be in demand in the future, and will definitely pay huge dividends for a career in the post-COVID world.
Let us have a look at some of the top skills that recruiters will seek in the post-pandemic era.
- Emotional Intelligence (EI): Even the most advanced robots, cannot compete with humans on Emotional Intelligence. The future jobs will demand new ways of thinking, and innovation and EI will certainly be the torchbearer. The ability to be aware of, express, control of the emotions and be aware of someone else’s emotions defines Emotional Intelligence (EI). An individual with high EI will demonstrate empathy, integrity and works well with other employees. Individuals with strong EQ are also well sought after by corporates of all sizes and in all sectors.
The present situation (Covid-19 pandemic) has stressed the need for managers to connect emotionally with their employees. In order to properly manage teams within organizations, emotional intelligence is required and will lead to a successful recovery.
- People Management: People management skills include effective communication and leadership skills, ability to manage, motivate, and efficiently give performance feedback. Future jobs will have a mix of employees who work from home and those who work from office. To manage a mix of this workforce will be a key task for future managers, and employees with strong skills in leadership and management will be in demand who know how to bring out the best in them and inspire them to meet their deadlines and achieve targets for the company.
- Technology Skills: Technical skills are at the centre of everything nowadays and it is necessary to be prepared for the future. Digital or technology skills include the ability to learn, understand and use technology platforms and applications. Companies have allowed their employees to work remotely during the pandemic, and are very likely to continue doing so in the long run too, whether partially or fully. This again proves that employees who are comfortable using technology to their and the company’s benefit will be key.
Organizations that are looking to future proof their businesses will be looking into artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality, and robotics in developing skills in these areas will certainly be of great value.
- Creativity: One can easily witness creativity during this pandemic. Most designer houses, clothes manufacturers have started producing masks, while many restaurants and food delivery apps have now started delivering groceries to households and accepting payments digitally.
Recruiters don’t think twice before hiring a creative person as they require employees who can design, calculate and challenge the new normal and invent segments and ways of doing things.
- Soft Skills: Soft skills refers to spoken skills, writing skills, presentation skills, and in general the ability to express ideas, opinions and suggestions as clearly and professionally as possible. A person with excellent communication skills is always a favourite among the recruiters of the organization.
So, if you have not emphasised on the importance of soft skills, now is the time to take your career seriously, brush up your soft skills training and take it to the next level of excellence. Your ability to communicate clearly and professionally affects the efficiency, effectiveness and trustworthiness between you and your boss.
- Learning Agility: Recruiters nowadays rely more on a candidate’s learning agility than intelligence, because to triumph in today’s multi-dimensional segment business stage, we need to be agile, adaptive and open to new ideas. In the current pandemic situation, business environment around the globe has become more dynamic and volatile. Organizations can no longer depend upon the strategies that worked in the past or even those that are working today. A workforce with high learning agility can learn from unfavourable outcomes and then implement those lessons to benefit in the next new situation.
McKinsey company had published a report in the year 2019 which stated that the digital economy could create 60 million to 65 million jobs by the end of the year 2025. Now with the pandemic wreaking havoc on the continents and leaving the entire population dependent totally on technology, whether it is FMCG, banking, IT, Finance or healthcare, it is certain that in the future more jobs will get digitalized. In conclusion, therefore, it will not just be about certificates and degrees in subjects around information technology and software, but many skills that fall in the zone between technical skills and soft skills will be in demand by future companies and their recruiters.