As we know, the job market is increasingly competitive. If we look at the facts, according to Worldometer and the ONS, year on year our population continues to rise at an increasing rate of 0.6- 1.05% every year. Of course, with this brings new minds, skills and experiences to our already diverse community and even greater demand for public services and business opportunities.
As well as this, advances and changes in technology mean that some skills are expected to become increasingly redundant in the approaching decades. Evidence of this have been observed in history- for example in the manufacturing industry. During the 19th century, workers in this industry were faced with the threat of losing their jobs to the revolution of technology and as we wander through the era of digitising businesses, we can expect the same to happen again with efficiency of business processes and basic thinking tasks being taken over by purpose-built advanced software and machinery which is cost-effective, purely rational, unbiased, fast and productive.
As the odds stack up, in order to excel, the need for investing time into developing more skills (the right skills!) to set yourself apart from everyone else- your ‘competitors’, is more prevalent than ever before.
Consequently, employers will be looking to seek those specific skills that are recognised as more significant in relation to technological influence. Some skills are easily adaptable by these advances in technology, and so are dismissed and unfortunately do not stand out to employers.
Therefore, there are certain qualities we regard higher than others. The following we skills we believe employer’s will be most likely to look for in 2020.
Dependant on the role, creativity has been viewed as a top skill by employers for a number of years. Having that “creative flair” has excellent benefits for many different departments across a company. From marketing to management teams- it’s important to bring members into the team who do possess this quality, as it introduces new, fresh ideas and has the potential to disrupt outdated norms. As well as this it allows individuals to use their environment and people around them to develop innovative ideas and produce multiple opportunities that may not have available to them.
Another important skill for not only in the workplace, but also day-to-day life. To be able to think critically, means we are able to take on board different opinions, scenarios and consequences- then be able to come the most suitable and justified, appropriate response. Some find this easier than others, almost a second-natured process of thinking. But for others this skill is developed and further improved on with each scenario they face. We’re still at the early stages of technology and “thinking”, more commonly known as artificial intelligence (AI). However, the reliability of this can not be 100% as these systems can break down.
Having a good ‘leader’ has a huge impact on the rest of the team and their work ethic/productivity. I’m sure the majority of people reading this have had both positive and negative experiences from managers. But, employers are not just looking for a ‘manager’- they’re looking for someone to stand out from the rest, potentially grow the business and create vision. A leader, is someone who can inspire and share their vision with colleagues. Motivating and encouraging others to act on their goals and celebrating their achievements. A more senior role comes with more responsibility, and so multiple skills are acquired with this.
A highly valuable asset we generally acquire as human beings, some more than others. As mentioned before, AI is moving forward and continually being improved on. But we still possess this unique ability which has not -yet- been replicated to a similar standard.
Being able to recognise our colleagues’ emotions and having a strong awareness of how to handle certain situations dependant on the people present. If you were to wrongly assess a situation, this may lead you to wrong decisions. We are interactive beings, and generally work well as a team. So, this skill is essential to a business.
Another point to draw from this, which has been a more open topic over the last few years is mental health. Mental health is now recognised as an important part of day-to-day living. Spotting the signs early will assure the employee receives the help they need early on. Consequently, this improves their well-being and creates a happier, more productive environment.
Having already delved into the topic of technology, here we will pin point the necessity for this knowledge. Our world is adapting and evolving. We’re understanding now, more than ever, the implications technology has on us as individuals- as well as how we work in an office environment. It’s no secret that technology certainly has its’ advantageous and disadvantageous, it’s how to use these platforms appropriately to achieve the best results.
Some would say a blessing, and a curse. From a business point of view, social media skills are an important part of business development. It’s an excellent platform for digital marketing opportunities. It allows users to interact with the company, and have a better feel for your brand and the personality of the business. Generally, it’s a more cost-effective marketing approach. It’s easier to reach a wider audience, since every interaction from each user, has their own network of individuals.
Microsoft is arguably the most common software package used across firms today. Year on year, the technological giant undertakes research and constantly improves their systems. It’s vital for individuals looking for new opportunities to have adequate knowledge of the majority of their Office systems. Having the knowledge, skills and experience to use this package is hugely beneficial and highly attractive to prospective employers- due to the fast-paced nature of the development of technology. It’s good to have someone with the ability to up to date with these changes and effectively implement them in the workplace.
Project Management Software
Teams work effectively when they’re able to work collaboratively. Having everyone available at the same time, is not always possible. Whether this is due to locational issues, family affairs, illness, or other general obstacles you’re faced wit. Certain software has been developed support this and aid teams to work together more fluidly. Programmes such as Slack, Monday.com- and most recently Microsoft Teams. These systems allow us to collaborate and get projects done quicker. A more effective source of communication.
6. Growth Mindset
This leads quite smoothly onto adopting a forward-thinking approach to work. Having a “growth” mindset, plays a key part into the success of the business. Having an open mind and willingness to adapt to new approaches to strengthen the business, is highly regarded. There are people who have worked in companies for a number of years, they’re aware of both their talents, and weaknesses. The business works fine, and they would most likely adopt a “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” attitude (which is fair enough!). However, you need individuals who will look at this situation differently. Who can see the need for growth, as ultimately this will allow for more business opportunities. These people are able to approach a challenge outside of their skillset by self-assessing their inadequacies, and making strives to improve and strengthen in these areas to solve the problem at hand.
7. Cultural Awareness
We would hope this is second nature to us as humans, but everyone is different, and we don’t all have this capability to recognise the implications of cultural differences and how it can affect the business and working relationships. Everyday, we see more attention and recognition of the importance of growing a diverse workforce. Whether this is race, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation- it’s important to have employees where they have a strong awareness of cultural differences. Not only does this benefit working relationships within the organisation, it’s also great for any external relationships that are perhaps international- this protects the barrier from any miscommunication/understanding.
Another point to address in regards to cultural awareness, is Brexit. Since talks about Brexit began, many groups have been faced with hostility. With so many conflicting opinions on the matter, the situation has caused distress some people from different backgrounds. Employees that have strong cultural awareness will improve internal employee relationships, and those with clients.
So these are the Top 7 Skills we’re expecting employers to be looking for in 2020. It’s good to keep up to date with what the market is going to look like as the year progresses and new skills are taken on (or over!). This is back by factual evidence, that employment in the UK has just reached a “new record high” for people aged over 16 years. In simple terms, more people being employed means more competition. We need to differentiate ourselves and ensure we stand out against our competitors.
If you have these skills or would like to take on a role to further develop them, have a look at our vacancies and send across an up-to-date CV!
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