According to Oxford Economics’ Global Talent 2021, shifts are taking place in the global market structure. Survey participants identified advances in technology (42%) and globalisation (41%) as well as shifts in labour demographics (38%), customer needs (38%) and competition (38%) as underlying forces that will have the biggest impact on their organisation’s talent requirements in the years ahead.
Even without the pandemic, these developments were already transforming business landscapes around the world, and altering both demand and supply of talent as employers began to look for new skills in employees to manage technological disruptions.
Now, as the global job market continues to evolve at an accelerated rate with growing competition and advancing technologies, another layer of complexity will be added, and firms are quickly switching hiring strategies to meet these challenges and uncertain times.
In this time of business landscape disruptions, these are the four fundamental qualities employers look for in candidates:
1. Agile and nimble thinking
If you can tackle issues of various complexities with innovative thinking and creativity, you can think agilely and nimbly! Also, take note that keeping an open mind and flexibility will help in this, as will foresight and preparation in order to prepare for future challenges.
The first step to achieving this: Be a better listener. When you listen to people, market trends and challenges, you’ll be able to look at all the different perspectives, take in the industry knowledge and provide smart solutions.
2. Digital skills
It’s no secret that digitalisation is on the rise, what with remote and hybrid working models forcing companies to adopt essential technology at a much faster rate than expected. Now, experts believe that 2021 will bring hyper-digitalisation, as enterprises take a closer look at current business models, and adapt them to the new hybrid work model.
Even if you’re not interested in managing big data in the future, experience will be needed in social media and industry software. In the same vein, some knowledge of coding and programming will give you an edge in the new normal.
The first step to achieving this: Adopt a lifelong learning attitude. Take up courses, attend talks and look for reading materials that are relevant to your industry and develop your skills in that area.
3. Global skills
Although physical travelling is still a sliver of hope to cling onto, global skills still rank high on the qualities employers look for. The internet allows global connectivity on a scale never seen before, and an understanding on cultural awareness and how international business is conducted is crucial. As such, adaptability and an ability to work well with colleagues from different countries and backgrounds is a must.
The first step to achieving this: When travel routes open again, travel overseas and communicate with people from different backgrounds. Chat with new people, attend networking sessions and make new friends!
4. Interpersonal and communication skills
Even if you’re looking for a role with minimal contact with colleagues, you’ll still find your hands tied in multiple scenarios if you can’t communicate professionally with them! Collaboration and teamworking skills are essential in any company and team, as it can lead to highly successful brainstorming and co-creativity sessions. Networking skills, in particular, are immensely useful to any graduate looking for opportunities.
The first step to achieving this: Make sure you can communicate across different platforms to practise getting your points across. Even though many business meetings are now on virtual platforms such as Zoom, make it a point to not completely ignore face-to-face interactions.
A varied skill set will only serve you well in your career, and constant upskilling should be part of your professional development. These four fundamental skills are perfect to serve as the base of your upskilling journey – and it’s never too late to start developing them!