IN the everchanging employment market and fast-moving global economy, the expectations companies have for prospective employees have changed. The more traditional hard skills that were once sought-after are not as in demand as they once were. In their place, are skills – both hard and soft – for the 21st century.
With the rate of advancement in technology and industry, the face of the job market is almost unrecognisable from that of just a few decades ago. And this is reflected in the skills employers are seeking these days.
“Employers today are looking for not just technical expertise and knowledge, but also key 21st century competencies such as communication skills, critical thinking, innovation, adaptability and more to take on the challenges of this fast-changing economy,” Rob Bryson, Managing Director at recruitment consultants Robert Walters Singapore, told Asian Correspondent.
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“Many young people we speak with today have the right knowledge and qualifications – but they need to be able to prove to employers that they have the 21st century skills to take on whatever the future brings.”
To assist job-hunters in their search, employment website LinkedIn examined data across their site to determine the skills companies need the most in 2019. These are the skills, they say, “your boss and your boss’s boss find most valuable, but have a hard time finding – and the skills that’ll most help you better serve your clients and customers.”
Top 5 most in-demand soft skills in 2019
While the threat of losing jobs to robots is becoming an increasingly real prospect for some roles, creativity is a distinctly human trait and is essential in any successful business environment.
Organisations today operate in a highly competitive, global environment, making creativity crucial. Creativity is what fuels big ideas, challenges employees’ way of thinking, and opens the door to new business opportunities.
Most businesses would go nowhere without the power of persuasion. Whether it’s selling a product or passing on information, persuading people of your company’s values and understanding your viewpoint is essential.
In managerial positions especially, it is better for everyone if employees can be persuaded to adopt a particular approach rather than simply ordering them.
A 2018 study from Scope Logic found one of the biggest factors that contribute to the success of any business is whether or not its employees are able to perform together as a team. Ninety-seven percent of corporate executives and employees believe lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of a project.
They found good collaboration brings with it boosted productivity, augmented innovation, better use of people’s skills, and reduced risk.
To survive and thrive in a rapidly changing world, businesses need to keep up to stay on top. These days it’s not if the change is coming, but when. Those who are unwilling or incapable of dealing with these shifts are the ones doomed to fail.
To stay competitive in today’s environment warrants not only the skill and will to adapt to change but also the foresight to anticipate it.
5. Time Management
Time management improves the efficiency and effectiveness of a business, making its value for employers obvious.
It can also greatly benefit the employee, making work-life more manageable, streamlining processes, and freeing up more time for learning or activities outside of work.
Top 5 most in-demand hard skills in 2019
1. Cloud computing
As the whole world makes the transition to the cloud, companies are scrambling for individuals and engineers with the skills to keep up with demand.
2. Artificial Intelligence
AI is disrupting all manner of industries, from real estate to transport, those who fail to embrace it face being left behind.
LinkedIn found AI skills are among the fastest-growing skills on the site, with a 190 percent increase on LinkedIn from 2015 to 2017.
3. Analytical reasoning
In the world of big data, knowing what to do with it is proving crucial. It’s all well and good having the information, but companies are looking for people capable of formulating solutions based on what it tells them.
4. People management
It’s not good enough to just bark orders at your team and expect them to be done anymore. Leaders who can motivate, engage and empower employees are found to have greater success while also making a more welcoming work environment.
5. UX Design
User experience design is what pretty much makes the world go around these days. It’s the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.
With customer satisfaction being the driving force behind any business model, ensuring a positive user experience is tantamount to success.