National and international work landscapes have changed dramatically since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Waves of quarantines and social distancing measures have forced employees to stay at home for their safety, completely changing the way much of business operates.
It’s also sped up the already increasing phenomenon of automation in the job market. Already a consistent trend since the 1990s, the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the rate at which technology is being integrated into the workforce.
According to the World Economic Forum, “More than 80% of business executives are accelerating plans to digitise work processes and deploy new technologies; and 50% of employers are expecting to accelerate the automation of some roles in their companies.” In fact, by 2025, it is predicted that employers will divide work between human and machines equally.
With these shifts in mind, how do you stay relevant and desired by employers in these changing times? You can develop certain skills to make you stand out and stay ahead in the job market. Let’s dive into what these top skills employers look for are.
A Global Shift in the Top Skills Employers Look For
The sudden leap forward in integrated technology means that employers will increasingly seek professionals with specific skill sets. The value for rote skills and task-related abilities will be overshadowed by “soft skills” in areas such as management, decision-making, and communication.
A recent study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers demonstrated that the top skills employers look for include Critical Thinking/Problem Solving (99.2%), Teamwork/Collaboration (97.5%), and Oral/Written Communication (95.9%).
By identifying and improving upon these skills, those in their early and mid-career can optimise their competitiveness in an increasingly international job market.
Below is a list of the 5 top skills to stay ahead in today’s Covid job market:
Critical thinking is valued as one of the most important skills sought after by organisations. It refers to a professional’s ability to assess a situation, analyse potential outcomes, and brainstorm a solution independently.
An employee’s ability to think critically in a working environment is essential to both their own success and that of the company. Employers are seeking staff who can autonomously confront and resolve challenges and problems brought up in an increasingly complex working environment. Questioning pre-held conceptions, thoroughly researching a given topic, and identifying alternative perspectives to an argument are all good ways to improve critical thinking skills.
As online and hybrid working models continue to become more commonplace, strong communication skills become increasingly necessary to maintain workflow.
In virtually all job sectors, employers value team members who are able to successfully understand assignments and tasks given, then efficiently communicate them to clients, co-workers, and external departments.
Communication skills employers look for include verbal, written, and listening abilities. Jobs that emphasise excellent communication skills include marketing, sales, management, and mediation.