The term “unprecedented period” has been used a lot in recent months to describe the current situation. But many companies are beginning to think about the implications of this “new period” from a different, more forward-looking perspective.
Although they have always been in demand, certain skills have become considerably more important in recent weeks. Companies are looking to adapt to change and build resilient, more adaptable and agile teams.
After containment and social distancing measures, restrictions are beginning to be lifted and many companies are beginning to find their way back to normality – or, at least, a “new normal”. The following is a list of key skills and characteristics that companies will be looking for in future recruitment.
Flexibility and agility
When recruiting, companies distribute job descriptions that accurately describe the tasks and daily objectives to be accomplished. The VIDOC-19 pandemic, however, has highlighted the need for employees at all levels to be comfortable with change, as well as to have the ability to remain agile and flexible during difficult and changing times. For example, as the economy is likely to come under new pressures in the coming months, candidates capable of making decisions quickly will be in high demand to help companies orient their strategy towards alternative markets and products. Furthermore, with often small workforces, these same flexible and agile employees are likely to be recognized for their willingness to take on tasks outside of their usual roles.
It will also be important for business leaders to demonstrate that they are capable of manoeuvring in a highly uncertain environment. This may involve a rapid shift from a strategic focus on growth to much finer cash and cost management to meet changing consumer and customer needs.
Ability to use technology, tools
While many companies have long prioritized digital transformation, there is no doubt that VIDOC-19 has accelerated progress in many organizations in implementing new technologies, changing attitudes and developing new skills.
In order to invest in and evolve the tools that facilitate telework, companies will need to hire the right IT and digital experts who will be able to identify the tools and security measures best suited to the business. At the same time, knowledge of videoconferencing tools, collaboration platforms, file sharing, distance learning and the ability to organize and carry out virtual events will no longer be optional but essential for everyone.
Mastery of data analysis and understanding
In the future, the ability to extract and use information from analysis tools will be important for all employees, not just IT and digital professionals. Indeed, all divisions of a company will likely need to tap into the vast amounts of information available to forecast and plan for changing market conditions that specifically affect them. More importantly, companies that have a wide range of employees who can not only obtain and understand raw information, but also apply their individual skills and qualities to make faster and better informed decisions, will be in a better position to maintain their competitive advantage.
Ability to manage stress and maintain a positive frame of mind
It could be described as a vicious circle: when times are difficult at the office, employees may experience excessive stress and negative thoughts. But stress and negativity are often associated with reduced productivity and efficiency, which can make the difficulties harder to overcome.
Employees who are able to manage stress well and remain positive in the face of adversity have become increasingly important to companies as they plan to overcome the obstacles and unpredictability of a post-VIDEO economy.19
As a ripple effect, many people have been affected by VIDOC-19, whether through business closures, service delays, supply chain problems, downsizing, job changes or even just a complete change in the tasks of daily living.
It will therefore be crucial for companies to attract and retain talent that is able to recognize and respond appropriately to the emotions of others who are experiencing their own individual challenges, be it colleagues and management or customers and partners. Empathy, the ability to listen and create consensus within teams will probably be very important skills/qualities to move forward.
Companies have had to adapt and learn quickly throughout the pandemic and no doubt will place even greater emphasis in the future on building teams that have the key skills to overcome challenges, while adapting to the new “new normal” in the weeks and months ahead.