“The ability to understand the moment and adapt to continuous change, to be flexible and resilient and to have digital skills are the skills most in demand today” “
We live in a time of change, radical change and breakneck progress. At the speed that our lives had a few months ago, the coronavirus has joined forces, even if it paralyzed everything at the beginning, accelerating the pace of our daily lives, bringing us innovations at the speed of light and us include in an AVE which, unstoppable, he heads towards the future almost without looking towards the present. Technology, digitalization, virtualization … machines play a fundamental role in all of these changes, but what about people?
Well, people too. Or more. And it is that the human factor is more in force than ever, it is always essential, as much at the cultural level, of work, economic … Within this human factor, the qualities, the competences, the knowledge of the people vary and so do the demands of companies, looking for different profiles or different skills than just a few months ago.
For all this, from RRHHDigital we were able to speak with Alexandra Andrade, director of Spring Professional in Spain, who analyzed and detailed what skills are most requested by companies today.
Don’t miss the interview!
Question. In general, what are the skills most in demand in the labor market?
Reply. The ability to understand the moment and adapt to continuous changes, to be flexible and resilient and, most importantly, to have digital skills are the skills most in demand today. Organization and time planning, creativity and innovation and teamwork are also highly valued.
Creative and innovative bosses with leadership, emotional intelligence, strategic vision and communication skills are needed.
Q. How has the demand for skills changed or varied in this “coronavirus era”?
A. Great digital skills have emerged during this crisis. According to the Adecco Resetting Normal Group: Redefining the New Era of Work study, 64% of workers believe their digital skills have improved in this pandemic time and also demand improvements in the following areas: remote working (78%) , development of soft skills – leadership, empathy and creativity – (73%) and use of business platforms / systems (72%). 79% of Spanish workers say digital skills training is essential in the post-pandemic future.
Q. How much has the demand for digital skills increased?
A. We are living in the Fourth Industrial Revolution where advancements in technology and digitization are unstoppable and transforming businesses and the world as we know it. Virtually all jobs require technological knowledge and digital skills. Having knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, 3D printing or even Blockchain is an increasing value.
This crisis has demonstrated the need to accelerate the digitalization process, as it affects all areas of our economy, which is why digital skills have been and will continue to be so.
With all of this situation, the tech industry and the demand for their profiles increased in importance during the months of lockdown and became the most requested by medical professionals. In fact, it is estimated that 8% of the jobs created between March and May correspond to the field of IT and telecommunications, and in 2019 this sector generated 13% of the total wage supply.
Companies are fighting for this technological talent. Some companies have chosen to offer higher salaries and others are looking for talent who works remotely outside our borders.
Q. And in these technological times, how important are “human” skills today?
A. In the future, we will be competing with generations of digital natives and, although it may sound like science fiction, with machines. Robotization and automation will free us from repetitive and administrative tasks, but in return we must focus on activities of human value, more creative and innovative. Technology is a tool at the service of people and not the other way around. The Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), prepared by the Adecco Group Institute, Insead and Google; predicts that in the workforce, the future of AI will depend on fruitful mutual contributions between humans and machines through hybrid activities.
In order to carry out these actions, new skills will be needed, called fusion skills (combined skills). One of the most important is the rehumanization of time, which helps to generate a better balance between the personal and professional life of human beings.
Machines and robots are great for processing and analyzing data, but humans have an advantage in soft skills, also known as soft skills. Truly human capacities will remain very relevant. Soft skills such as leadership, social influence, empathy and creativity, teamwork or critical thinking will be essential skills in the economy and labor market of the future.
A report from the World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, machines will perform more tasks than humans, up from 71% people do today. To mitigate the consequences of this process, the Adecco Group is betting that 375 million people, or 14% of the global workforce, will transform their skills by 2030.
For this reason, and because jobs that previously did not exist are appearing at the same time, employers need to focus on adaptive talent development and retraining. At all skill levels, but especially at the higher levels, staff need to acquire skills such as adaptability, social intelligence, communication and problem solving. Continuous training will have a key function and retraining will be necessary for the acquisition of these skills.
Q. With the rise of teleworking and all that is remote, what qualities are associated with it more and more?
A. It should be borne in mind that, in the current situation, teleworking is not an option, but a quasi-compulsory measure which responds to public health reasons.
From Spring Professional, we find that what is most in demand are communication skills. We must increase the frequency of contacts, establish routines that promote communication and team coordination. Hold regular virtual meetings and follow up
Maintaining the interaction periodically avoids the feeling of isolation on the part of the worker and it is in this area that managers must assume a leading role, generating a dynamic of permanent contact.
Virtual interactions tend to be limited entirely to professional content, missing the spaces for extra-professional relationships that occur during moments of rest. You must find spaces for this type of contact.
Working from home can be a challenge, requiring motivation, focus, and productivity. It is necessary to retrain and to be in constant training.
Companies are looking for flexible and versatile professionals who develop their work in constantly changing situations and who have the capacity to learn.
Q. With respect to managers and middle managers, what “skills” are required of today’s leaders?
A. On the leadership side, we must keep in mind that the “emotional bill” that this untouchable situation leaves is still incalculable, even though it is clear that there is a before and an after in us. , in the people who make up organizations and, therefore, the time has come to be close to the people who make the creation of our companies possible.
Concern for the employee, both for his well-being and his talent, will be an even higher priority for productivity and the future of companies.
Undoubtedly, companies emphasize the care of employees and talents, obviously health and prevention are hygienic, but creating a psychologically healthy environment (psychological safety) is the key to retaining talent. .
The new leader must be resilient, able to handle ambiguity and deal with adversity. They must be agile and flexible, able to learn, adapt and develop themselves and their teams.
They must be able to make quick decisions, but at the same time able to delegate and involve their teams in the decision-making process in order to generate energy and commitment for change.
Finally, they must be positive and able to filter the pressure. They must create a work environment based on open communication, trust and psychological safety and must have a constant feedback approach.
Q. How will the demand for professional skills develop in the short and medium term?
A. The pandemic has greatly influenced the experiences, behaviors and attitudes of workers and, therefore, the future job skills they will need.
Before the pandemic, emotional intelligence was already in high demand. Now, empathy, trust and a new emphasis on well-being and cultural development are the most important leadership skills in the new era of the world of work. According to Reset Normal: Redefining the New Age of Work, 74% of employees worldwide want their boss to display a leadership style that is focused on empathy and a supportive attitude.
Relying on staff to get the job done is the most valued management trait, as is the ability to communicate at a distance and support flexibility. Key elements for the future of work will be the ability to balance work and personal life, and flexibility.